What I’ve Learned: Bill Attardi

What I’ve Learned: Bill Attardi

Posted 8/22/2015


President, Attardi Marketing

The first commandment of success is get a good education in something you really love to do and work hard at it. It really is that simple.

Never worry about your next job—workhard at the job you have and the promotions will come. This really is a sports lesson—when the best are playing in the playoff games, they just cannot worry about the next team they may play if they don’t beat the team they are playing.

I thought I was going to be a lawyer but I fell in love with selling. Got a MBA in marketing and really have the classic sales & marketing career: salesman to training manager, district manager, product manager, national sales manage to executive marketing & sales positions with three corporations.

If you have a manager title, your primary responsibility is to develop the people who report to you…….don’t just manage, teach.

It’s critical to develop both your oral and written communications skills at the highest level of your capability. No matter your job or position, your ability to communicate effectively will determine your relationships and your success in those relationships.

The lighting industry that has been good to me….very good. I learned a lot over these many years from some of the best in the industry, like Bill Robertson, John Max, Steve Tumminello, Jack Briody, Bob Cappalli, Jim Spicer…just to name a few. There have been many, many more.

Make time to read for information and for pleasure. It really helps to escape the pressures of everyday living.

When you are asked to present or teach what you know and give to others, be sure to entertain as well as inform. In today’s electronic information age, it’s the only way they will listen.

If everyone agrees with you, then you’re doing all the thinking. Encourage others to debate the issues and make decisions based on divergent intelligent thoughts. Education happens when you learn from others.

As lighting goes through this metamorphosis, I’m learning something new every day. My good friend Chris Brown [CEO of Wiedenbach-Brown] and I are having a little debate about the future of lighting…we see things differently, yet we come to some very similar conclusions, learning more and more as we go.

Love your family and your friends and yes, even your enemies. Hate gets in the way of doing a good job as a parent, as a loyal friend, as a successful person.

I started in lighting 50 years ago—hard for me to believe, but it was November 1965 as a sales representative in New York Cityselling Westinghouse light bulbs. It was my first full-time job after 3 years in Army Security.

Never stop learning. What I’ve Learned is a terrific theme and a good reflection we each have personally on life’s lessons, but it should never be final.

Go to church on Sunday ……give that one hour a week to God to thank him for your blessings. It may not have to be more than that. It can be that one hour when you can pray and meditate and feel a sense of calm that refreshes your thoughts and better prepares you for life’s struggles.

Never retire. Why would you want to stop what you love to do and are good at it?

My folks had a terrific work ethic. I started learning everything from my Mom & Dad. They ran a shoe repair shop in Bayonne, NJ until they passed. They both died, four years apart, on a Wednesday when the store was closed—they wouldn’t even die on a work day.

I love to teach and I’m now an Adjunct Professor at Monmouth University, teaching graduate and undergraduate marketing and management courses since 2000. What a life!


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