Giving People Ownership And A Why

Posted on: September 21st, 2020 by Emily Novotny | No Comments

On June 10th, 2012, Chriss Carsello’s son Charlie was born seven and a half weeks premature fighting for his life inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. On June 11th, Chriss sat inside CITY’s conference room waiting to start his new job as CITY’s sales manager.


“I sat down and Colin Wetlaufer, looked at me and he goes, “What are you doing here?” Chriss explains. “I said, “Well, it’s my first day on the job, and I thought I should report to work the first day.”


Management’s kind reply of “you shouldn’t be here right now” and heartfelt message of “now go take care of your family,” has stayed with him to this day. Chriss calls that summer morning of June 11th, when he sat down with Roger, former CITY president, and Colin the “aha” moment of when he knew CITY was special.

A picture of Chriss besides one of his quotes from the article.

Chriss believes when you know your “Why,” you can be more successful.


“From day one, I knew this was where I wanted my entire professional career to be,” Chriss said. “I think about that day a lot. Not every day is easy. There’re challenges each and every day and that’s what I love about CITY.”


Since 2012, Chriss has led CITY’s sales staff across Iowa and has overseen several expansions into Minnesota. Just like he is committed to bringing customers the best possible service, Chriss also wants his staff to embody commitment.


“I think by giving people ownership or a little bit more responsibility, it gives them that sense of pride,” Chriss said. “I want them to be proud of what they do, and I want them to be proud of what CITY does.”


While Chriss believes “care” is not something someone can teach, he thinks it’s an instilled value that can grow within a person as they progress through their careers. The “Why” of doing things becomes more important than the how and what. Understanding why a person does something ultimately leads to success because the why is connected to care.


“I want to succeed not only on a professional level, but I also want to succeed for the company,” Chriss said. “I want to succeed for me, and ultimately, I want to succeed for my family. That’s what drives me and what motivates me is trying to take care of our customers. Everyone has to find their “why”.”

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Chriss often talks about the marriage between the opportunity and the individual, and the perfect match both have to create to reach longevity in success. Because his sales staff is ultimately a representation of Chriss himself, he cares deeply about who represents CITY. Integrity is equally as important as commitment. Coaching, training and leading them is one of Chriss’ ways to ensure things are done the right way.


“The big thing is not about how people are when I am with them,” Chriss said. “It’s about how those people act and what they are doing when I’m not with them. They say integrity is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.”


The morning of June 11th changed Chriss’s life. Even though his experience in sales spans many years and states, CITY truly showed him his “why” and why he truly believes CITY is the best provider for customers across the Midwest.


“I care about not only the people that I work with but the people I work for,” Chriss said. “It’s the CITY family, Colin, Roger and all of our executive team. It allows me to do wh


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