Book Club: Trailblazer Chapter 1

So, I received a copy of Trailblazer in the mail this week. Not sure really who sent it, and I think we all get a copy at Dreamforce too, but I was excited about it. And then I was excited again when I tweeted about getting it and Marc Benioff retweeted my tweet!

I’ve been reading and hearing so much in the twitterverse about this book, I was excited to finally read it. But, as the mother of a teenager and a toddler, I find that reading times are few and far between – at least for anything other than reading “Goodnight Moon” 8 times in a row or one of our other favorites like “Are You My Mother? ” A little upset by this, I turned to Audible and was so happy to find an audio version of the book was already available! My only time to myself during the day is on my commute to and from work. On most days, I spend this time singing loudly along to the radio, applying my makeup at red lights, and overthinking everything I need to get done by the end of the day. A book about Trailblazers sounds way better than all that.

So, I start listening and I’m immediately blown away. Today I got through the Prologue on my drive to work and Chapter 1 while I was waiting in the parent pick-up line at my daughter’s school. That doesn’t seem like much, but it was already enough to inspire me. The Prologue sets us up for what we’re in for by introducing the Salesforce 1-1-1 philanthropy model. Then, in Chapter 1, Marc walks us through his beginnings and shares how his family and early days inspired his motivation for Salesforce. Some things that stuck out to me – his grandfather came from Kiev. I think this stuck out to me just because of everything happening with Ukraine right now, and also because one of my friends and coworkers is from Kiev. More importantly though, I’m always awestruck by the 1-1-1 model.

When I arrived at the office this morning, I had just finished the Prologue and I was reflecting on an experience I had this summer while attending the first ever Trailblazer Summit. I was invited to attend an event at a local middle school where I witnessed the 1-1-1 model first-hand. Dozens of Salesforce employees mingling and interacting with middle school students on a brand new playground donated by Salesforce. STEM activities, a dance party, healthy snacks and a lot of giggling made the event, and every student was in a Salesforce shirt. It was such a great experience to be a part of. After the students went back to class, there was a press conference. Another demonstration of Salesforce, and Marc Benioff, actually participating in the community instead of just talking about it. They pledged millions of dollars and stressed the importance of community activism.

As a Salesforce customer, I’m often overwhelmed by the Trailblazer culture. Salesforce employees go above and beyond to ensure that we’re successful. Other community members go above and beyond to ensure that we’re successful. And I love going above and beyond to help both of those groups!

In Chapter 1, we learn more about Marc’s upbringing and how his family, specifically his mother, father and grandfather, directly and indirectly led to him making a lot of the decisions that he made. His mother was encouraging and gave him room to spread his wings. His father taught him work ethic and transparency in running a business. His grandfather showed him how to innovate and make a lasting difference in the community through policy and community organizing. He also makes a point to mention that his grandfather worked in the tallest building in San Francisco. I found that extra fun since now Marc does too! 😂

As I was listening to the words in the story, I started reflecting on my own story and how it has led me to fall in love with Salesforce. I inherited my work ethic from my mother, my curiosity for technology from my father, and my desire to give back from nearly everyone in my family. I come from a family of teachers, social workers, and community do-gooders. I learned very young that I wanted to give back and help others. It’s why I started my career as an Americorps member, why I spent so many years working with the Girl Scouts, and why I find myself drawn to companies who use their power, pockets, and voices for good. You can hear more about my story in later posts and if you’re at Dreamforce, my Trailblazer Spotlight in the Einstein Analytics area!

I’m excited to continue “reading” tomorrow – Chapter 2: Values! Have you started reading Trailblazer yet?