Growing up in New York City, Daniel Gornetzki proved himself a talented student. After distinguishing himself in grade school, he was admitted to the Bronx High School of Science, a highly-regarded educational institution that has produced several Nobel Laureates.
While there, Daniel played on the varsity tennis and baseball teams, simultaneously earning a spot on the National Honor Roll.
After graduating, Daniel Gornetzki was accepted to Northwestern university in Evanston, Illinois, where he would complete a double major in communications and economics. He was also invited into the international men’s fraternity Delta Epsilon, an organization that has helped him professionally for many years after leaving college.
Upon entering the working world, Daniel Gornetzki moved back to New York City, accepting an offer of employment from the City of New York. Later, he would work for City University of New York in a managerial role as a learning consultant, brought in to help acclimate faculty, employees, and students alike to new software and technology adopted by the school. After three and a half years of work, he moved on to the private sector, finding a position at Oracle as a software salesperson. Daniel worked there until 2020, at which point he moved on to OneStream Software, where he was awarded the position of Director of Sales and given the federal government accounts.
In his spare time, Daniel Gornetzki enjoys playing sports, especially hockey, baseball, and basketball. He also enjoys taking his boat out and sailing around Long Island to fish and relax.
What do you currently do at your company?
I am the Director of Sales for our federal government practice. In that role, I manage a team of eight sales representatives. I manage all aspects of our day-to-day sales and marketing efforts as it relates to our sales with the government.
What was the inspiration behind taking this position?
It was my first formal position of leadership at a company. I always wanted to be a leader in a formal capacity. And so, when the opportunity presented itself, I felt there was no better time to move forward with that idea. It’s a position where I can use my innate skills to lead, manage, and guide my peers.
What defines your approach to business?
There are a lot of jobs out there. But I never really wanted a job; I wanted a career, and one that would allow me to excel and have a positive impact on other people. Generally speaking, when folks hear the word sales, it carries with it a negative connotation and preconceived notions about who salespeople are and what they do. People immediately picture a used car salesman—not that there’s anything wrong with that profession, but it has a reputation of not always being above board. My job isn’t like that. I’ve always kept my customers’ needs and requirements at the forefront of my mind. I’ve always felt that, in sales, you need to do more than just sell things; you need to work with your customers in one way or another to improve their lives.
What are the keys to being productive that you can share?
Effective time management is key. There is no more valuable asset than time. As humans, we’re on Earth for a very finite amount of it. There are only a certain number of workable hours in the day, and so work life balance is paramount. Another key to productivity is not to get too wrapped up in daily minutiae. That helps you to be more efficient in your work. In short, work smarter, not harder.
How do you measure success?
There are a number of ways that people can measure success. Certainly, not all aspects of success are about dollar figures. You have to take into account career growth and promotions, for example. But, going back to what I said earlier, there are also ways to measure success that are unquantifiable, such as doing right by your customers, coworkers, and family, or exhibiting leadership traits in a way that inspires others.
What is the most valuable lesson that you have learned throughout the course of your career?
During an especially frustrating point in my sales career, one of my first mentors told me that “Your highs are not as high as you think they are, and your lows are never as low as you believe.” As time has passed, I’ve found that to be a very true statement. Psychologically, it’s important to try to find a happy medium in order to keep yourself grounded in this profession.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
In sales, it’s important to cultivate the inner desire to sell. Not everyone has that. Succeeding in sales is not the most glorious, fun, or easy thing in the world. Especially since we’ve gone to remote work and self-monitoring. But even if you are at home in your PJs on the sofa, you have to make sure that you are doing what you need to do during each day, week, and month. Tenacity is another trait worth its weight in gold. You have to keep at it. However, the most important trait, I think, is to be likable. You have to be able to build strong relationships with your customers, coworkers, and superiors.
How would your colleagues describe you?
For better or worse, patience is one of the most difficult things for me. So, my colleagues might describe me as ‘impatient,’ or, if they were being charitable, ‘constantly active.’ At the same time, they would probably also describe me as ‘tenacious,’ ‘motivated,’ ‘hungry,’ and ‘a good leader and friend.’ Ideally, I’d like to be known as someone who can not only ensure my own success, but that of other people, as well.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
That can be hard, I’ll admit. Work can get busy. It ebbs and flows. During our busiest times, I make sure I’m on top of my time management. When there are things that do not require immediate attention and I feel like I need a break, I find it’s important to relax and enjoy my hobbies. When I was younger, I would spend my weekends working until 11 pm. While that did help forward my career, it dawned on me quickly that I would not be able to maintain that for any great length of time. Now, you won’t find me doing anything work-related on evenings or weekends. That time is dedicated to relaxing, pursuing my hobbies, and spending time with my loved ones.
What is one piece of technology that helps you most in your daily life?
Without question, it’s my iPhone. It’s everything. Not so long ago, phones used to just send and receive calls. Now, phones can do everything. A phone can allow you to play games, be your navigator on trips, act as a radio, and so much more. I couldn’t live without it. But it’s always a good idea to know when to put it aside and not use it too much.
Who’s been a role model to you and why?
I’ve had many role models throughout my personal life and career. My dad was one. He immigrated to the USA many years ago with just a few dollars in his pocket. He has the strongest work ethic of anyone I know. I like to think that I’ve lived up to his expectations by having a strong work ethic, as well. He always taught me that any successes achieved in life are through sheer will and hard work.
What is one piece of advice you have never forgotten?
As I mentioned earlier, “Your highs will never be as high as you believe and your lows are never as low as you think.” Also, my mom told me once that “God never gives you more than you can bear at one time.”So, when times are tough and it feels like the walls are caving in on me, and I’m stressed, tired, and running out of patience, I try to remember that.