Sales Awards Blog

Q&A with John Cushman of AT&T, Sales Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Feb 01, 2011 @ 02:34 PM

John Cushman is a member of the final judging committee for the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. His eSales & Services team at AT&T has won multiple Stevie Awards in the sales awards categories of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
John Cushman

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
While the tragedy in Tucson captured everyone’s attention, I found myself truly inspired by the various acts of heroism demonstrated by people from all walks of life.

What New Year’s resolution have you made and why?
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions and instead prefer to build a 12-month roadmap for my top three professional and/or personal objectives.  I review my progress each quarter, and make any necessary adjustments during the course of the year. (After all, it is MY list!)

What book are you currently reading?
I am reading E$caping Oz: Protecting your wealth during the financial crisis.  It’s a book written by one of my “mentees” at AT&T, Jim Mosquera, and provides an easy-to-understand game plan for one to follow in order to build and sustain financial security.

What was the last movie you saw, and would you recommend it?
My wife and I recently went to see The Little Fockers, with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro.  It was a hilarious family comedy, and well worth the price of a ticket.  The kid that plays Ben Stiller’s son in the movie is a riot!

What is your favorite sport or hobby?
My favorite sport is professional baseball—not just the major leagues but at all levels of play.  I recently started collecting baseball cards as a hobby, and sure wish my Mom hadn’t thrown mine away.  You would be amazed at how much a little piece of cardboard can appreciate in value over the years.

Who is your favorite historical figure?
I have many, but my all-time favorite is Gandhi, a fascinating man who was able to overcome oppressive tyranny with passive resistance.  I believe we all could learn much from this inspiring leader.

Who (apart from close family) is your favorite living person?
Nelson Mandela.  Here is a man of greatness who used reconciliation to cure a nation from apartheid atrocities.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I would love to be the general manager of the New York Yankees for one full season, and then retire.  By the way, the current GM’s name is Cashman, so Cushman might not be such a stretch …

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
#1 – Business Ethics; #2 – Honesty; #3 - Loyalty

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work?
Sometimes, an individual who is intensely driven to success can lose sight of the bigger picture, or the ramifications that a single action can bring.  The ends do not always justify the means .

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
Very strong espresso with lots of sugar gets me started!  Seriously, I really enjoy my work and the people associated with it.  I have had the benefit of working for one of America’s top corporations for a number of years, during an evolutionary period where change is occurring at an extremely rapid pace.  Challenge is there for the taking, every day.

What do you consider has been your greatest achievement in business?
Husband—Dad—Son, these are where my greatest achievements lie.  In business, I am fortunate to have had several opportunities to achieve success, but those achievements pale in comparison to those that have come in my personal life. [

What advice or useful tip would you give to someone who is just starting out in business?
The same advice I give to my own adult daughter and son:  Be professional; have perseverance; and be patient!

About John M. Cushman
John Cushman has an extensive background in product management, marketing, and operations leadership. His career spans a number of major defining points in the telecommunications industry, including 800 number portability, the expansion to new toll-free area codes such as 888, payphone compensation legislation, and the explosive growth in use of the World Wide Web for everyday business and information needs.  For the past three years, Cushman has been leading the vision, execution strategy, and day-to-day field operations for electronic sales and service, an online channel that has grown to represent more than $4 billion in annual revenue and $750 million in productivity savings for his corporation.  As Vice-President of eSales & Service, he is responsible for all aspects of B2B eCommerce for AT&T. With an operating budget of over $90 million, he leads a global team of almost 2,000 associates.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates—AT&T operating companies—are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high-speed Internet and voice services.  AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010 AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.  Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

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