July 01, 2010
Executive Connection with Aaron Garrity, Founder, Chairman, XANGO
In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks to Aaron Garrity, Founder and Chairman, XanGo, about the ideal XanGo distributor, his vision for the company and much more.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the top executive of XanGo?
AG: The one thing I enjoy most is witnessing the magic of transformation. Since the inception of XanGo, we have sought out to do one thing—change lives for the better. I’m lucky enough to be in a position to see this happen every day at every level, in and out of the company. Whether the person is a new distributor or a seasoned networker, XanGo delivers life-changing opportunity to both. From the newest call center employee to the very top in senior management, a company that has grown as fast as XanGo offers everybody a chance to stretch their talents, expand their vision and be a part of something wonderful. Finally, XanGo helps to transform lives of individuals who never expected such—children and others who benefit from the XanGo Goodness Foundation.
DSN: What has been your greatest challenge since assuming this position?
AG: Keeping up with our growth and maintaining our agility. We’ve been blessed with tremendous success, and it’s been a challenge to evolve our company structure and operations to keep up with the pace of global growth. At the same time, as we grow and our structure evolves, we want to maintain our vision and agility to best serve the field.
DSN: What’s been the most fun part of the job?
AG: I spend a lot of time on the road meeting with distributors. The extensive travel is hard, yet I’m having a lot of fun meeting our distributors. It’s really fulfilling to hear their stories and talk about the innovations and passions in the field.
DSN: How would you describe the ideal XanGo distributor?
AG: The ideal XanGo distributor loves XanGo and what we stand for. They are passionate, want more out of life, innovative, aspiring, friendly, teachable, courageous, kind, loving, gracious, helpful and true—and really committed to helping others grow and giving back.
DSN: What is your vision for XanGo?
AG: XanGo has only just begun to see its potential. From a long-term perspective, our goal is to be the dominant player in this century. The leader in sales is one thing, but the standard in networking is what I believe to be the most important destiny for XanGo. You know you’re doing the right things when startups and seasoned companies alike drop the idioms “like XanGo” or “the next XanGo” in the strategy and board meetings. Until then, we will start with the first step in that vision—doubling our business in the next 2.5 years.
DSN: Is there one basic principle which governs your leadership at XanGo?
AG: Innovation. As a student of the best and brightest companies and most well-respected brands, I admire those that constantly challenge the status quo and what has been done. While experience is an important teacher to all of us, it is how we direct the future from that experience that matters most to me. I loathe the ever-popular declaration that “this is how we did it at company Y or company Z”. I don’t want to be either Y or Z. We are XanGo.
DSN: Leaders usually draw on something or someone for inspiration, guidance and direction. Do you have a hero or heroine?
AG: I have many heroes. Those who know me know that I am an avid student of history. But of all the possibilities, the individual who has influenced me most in my professional career is my very own partner in XanGo, Gary Hollister. For nearly two decades, I have witnessed Gary’s greatness in mind, character and leadership quality. He still surprises me from day to day with his wisdom.
DSN: What’s the best advice you ever got?
AG: Press forward. Surround yourself with greatness. Tough times come to us all. Sometimes we don’t seem to have any answers to problems. At times, the road to our dreams looks so far away. Whatever the situation, progress starts by taking the first step… and then the next… and then so many more that you soon forget you ever had the stress of the situation in the first place.
DSN: What do you see as our industry’s greatest challenge?
AG: Today’s business world is dynamic, and the globe is literally our marketplace, as technology and globalization reduce previous geographic and cultural barriers. As direct sellers, we need to become increasingly savvy in doing business across borders and be equipped with the necessary technological capabilities to not get left behind. We must be ready for the tremendous business opportunities that await us.
DSN: What do you like to do for fun?
AG: I’m a fitness buff, and my bicycle is a core part of my routine. I live in Utah, so I have amazing scenery to enjoy during my rides. And I love to ride with my family and friends, too.