There’s one person in this world who has handsdown done the most for my career, and that is David Mantica.
(CEO, ASPE Training)
After graduating college, I was in an interesting predicament. Sure, I had a fresh marketing degree from a major university, a solid internship under my belt and an ambition to conquer the world. But I was in a young city with no business network and no family connections to my industry or city. I was pretty alone.
The one connection I did have was from my internship and the amazing person he is, he personally wrote letters of recommendation for me and sent them around to people in his network. One of those included Steve Knier and David Mantica at ASPE.
They gave me a opportunity to interview, a job and a chance.
Interviewing with David Mantica is a pretty amazing experience from both sides of the table. He has an uncanny knack for connecting with people no matter the setting. He can take an otherwise tense interview experience and quickly turn it into a chat among friends. I’ve seen him turn interviews into life coaching and mentoring for people. I’ve seen him turn interviews into sessions of truth telling that caused candidates to talk themselves out of jobs.
Before you know it, David can get you to volunteer your deepest, darkest secrets…all without any regrets. All because it’s done with no malintent. He just genuinely wants to help people and get to know people. It really is something special and I could not be more grateful to be among a select group of people that have had the pleasure to experience it as a interviewee and as a co-interviewer.
The secret to David’s ability is a truly genuine heart. He is one of the nicest, warmest and kindest people I’ve ever known. He doesn’t approach interviews as a yes-no, win-lose situation. Instead, for David, interviews are a chance to sit with someone, get to know them and see if he can help them. He doesn’t look for the most skilled or most experienced. He looks for the person with the most potential and most graditude. He finds the people who really want the job and will appreciate it the most, because he knows those are the people that will make try the hardest and be the stickiest. As we say, “They are lifers.” Case in point, I am still with ASPE now almost nine years later.
Eight years and hundreds of interviews later, my interview-style is clearly my own spin on David’s interview style. At this point, I’ve passed that knowledge and style down to no less than 10 other people, and it’s helped me find some truly amazing teammates. I love seeing them weave their own style into this interview technique.
David uses that same outlook everyday with his employees. He encourages them to take risks and try new things because he knows that is how they will learn and is what they intrinsically need to enjoy their work. He openly discusses failures with all levels of the company as learning experiences, which breeds a culture and mentality of innovation and transparency.
And that I could not be more thankful for.
David, and the ASPE Board of Directors, have given me an overwhelming amount of trust over the years. That trust came with the opportunity to do and try things that have helped shape me into who I am today.
David personally has pushed me when I was scared to take a chance. He picked me up when I fell. He’s let me go when I needed to run with or learn something on my own. He’s helped talk me off the ledge when it was needed and helped celebrate wins.
I would not be who I am professionally, and in some cases personally, if not for David Mantica. So much of how I work, lead and manage is connected to what I’ve learned from him.
And that’s what inspires me about David Mantica. He helps people reach their full potential by truly caring. He’s not scared to take a chance on people.
It’s not about the dollar or the bottom line for David. Instead, his focus is on building people.
Sure, no business can survive without profit and revenue, but it doesn’t have to be the end-all-be-all. Because at the end of the day, it is the people who make businesses successful.
And David’s unique ability to connect and genuinely care about anyone and everyone is what makes him so successful at building teams and businesses. He sees the good and the potential in everyone…something I someday hope to do as well.
If he hadn’t seen something in me, there’s no telling where I’d be today.
Thank you, David
David and I both have New York Italian blood running through our veins (him obviously more than me). But with that blood comes a certain level of passion and emphatic enthusiasm. It’s never personal, but it’s not unusual for us to get into loud, heated debates. What many don’t understand is that we have a kind of unwritten set of rules that accompany these debates. No matter what is said, when the final decision is made, when we walk out of the room, we both know that the other one is going to do everything in their power to help the company be successful with that decision.
It’s an unusual bond, an unusual trust, but one that I can not thank him enough for. I love that we can both be so passionate and help push each other.
He knows I want to debate and push things to their absolute best, and he knows his job is to keep me in check and make sure things actually get done. He pushes me to not overthink things and to not let my perfectionism get in the way.
David inspired me early on to be more than just a designer or just a marketer. He pushed me to be some greater form of the two. He has given me the opportunity to work towards that and the trust to use his company’s money to do it (ha!).
But eight years later, I still learn something from him everyday or get reminded of some lesson he taught me years ago. I smile every time I see someone apply something from me that I learned from him.
I think David inspires all of his employees, his friends and the people in his life. He’s a successful businessman who has spent his career building and growing people. He loves what he does and there are many out there who, like me, are where they are because of him.