By Ashley Reyes
Destiny Skipper is the SEMA Future Leaders Network’s (FLN), formerly Young Executives Network (YEN), newest spotlight member. Skipper is the marketing manager at Beta Tools—manufacturer of tools and instruments for a wide variety of working fields, including building, hydraulics, electrotechnics and the automotive industry.
Get to know Skipper in her Q&A with SEMA below.
SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Destiny Skipper: A very smart mentor with my former company once told me that if I eliminated the word “but” from my professional vocabulary, I’d find greater acceptance for my ideas and greater cooperation from my team members.
She said people would have a very different perception of me if I could change this one thing. The reason, she said, is because the word “but” negates everything that precedes it, and you cast a negative spin on anything you say when you use it. “But” is exclusive and isolating, “and” is inclusive and welcoming. She was absolutely right, and it’s advice I currently challenge myself and others around me to use every day!
SEMA: What keeps you in the industry?
DS: I love being part of an industry where I can continue to build on what I have learned over my 18-plus years of marketing and sales. In my current role, I can recognize industry evolution as it happens and work with new technologies that enable us to succeed within our business model. The pace of change also feeds into my competitive nature and drives me to meet each challenge with determination and perseverance.
Although each win is hard-fought, I feel the ever-growing resiliency inside of me and that motivates me to work harder and stay laser focused on continuous improvement.
SEMA: Where can you be found on a Saturday?
DS: I can be found camping. Spring, summer or fall—you will find me with my family somewhere in the Carolina’s primitive camping. My little girl is now almost seven years old and has been camping since she was one-and-a-half years old; she loves it more than I do, which is hard to believe. Something about being unplugged from life and being on the water with the peaceful sounds of nature helps me rest for the busy week ahead—clears my headspace to allow for all the new obstacles coming my way.
SEMA: How do you prepare for an important meeting?
DS: The first thing I ask myself is if we need to have this meeting or can it be resolved by an email or phone call. If the answer is no, then I make sure I communicate clear objectives along with the suggested agenda. In the email invite depending on the objective, I ask for any upfront input on topics I may have missed and/or feedback on any possible obstacles. This allows the participants to be engaged and make sure we are all invested in the key topics that will allow for a productive meeting. Lastly, I make sure I communicate what the desired outcome is and how it will impact all parties involved.
SEMA: If you could go to lunch with one industry leader, living or dead, who would it be?
DS: If I were able to have lunch with one industry leader, living or dead, I would choose Steve Jobs. He is a man of high character with a mind that is always pushing the limits. He had an idea that he wanted to bring to market and poured all his effort into getting it done. He surrounded himself with people who believed in his dream and who could play a role and take ownership of the plan’s success. It is amazing how he remained cutting edge for so long and formed an army of followers inside and outside of his company to believe in him and his direction.
One of my favorite business-related quotes coming from Steve states: “We don’t hire smart people to tell them what to do, we hire them so they can tell us what to do.” For someone at his level to have the understanding that it takes a team effort to achieve great things and that arrogance has no place is really telling. Later in life, he understood the sacrifices he made to win in the office and what he may have missed out on in other areas. With that said I would love to learn what his major takeaways were (or what he would do differently) since he did live that transition. We all understand work-life balance is a must. How do the greats do it?
If you are a current FLN member, fill out an FLN member spotlight form. Selected candidates may be featured on FLN’s social media, SEMA eNews and FLN member updates.