Jacob Leon on life in Adobe sales, the business skills of wrestling, and taking a chance on the other side of the world
Joining Adobe was Jacob Leon’s first decision after college. From there, he learned the foundations of sales, worked his way up, and made a huge life change—moving from Adobe in the US to the Sydney, Australia office.
We talked to Jacob about life on the Adobe Sign team, the big move, and how his background as a college wrestler helped set him up for success.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Adobe?
I started my career at Adobe straight out of university in the Adobe Sales Academy. This is a great program where we teach new graduates the foundations and basic skills of sales.
Fast forward to now and I’m a senior account executive for Adobe Sign working within our territory space. My role is to help current customers get the most value out of the solution, grow their spend, and find net new logos.
You work on Adobe Document Cloud. What kinds of problems do those products solve?
Adobe’s Document Cloud provides a platform for fulfilling all three stages of a document’s lifecycle, from the creation of a document to collaboration and execution. Acrobat is one of the major solutions in Document Cloud, and with that it made sense for Adobe to acquire a signature platform, which we did back in 2011 with EchoSign. This was rebranded to Adobe Sign.
In 2019 you made a huge decision to relocate from the US to Australia. How did you decide to move and how did Adobe help?
When I started at Adobe, they had everyone create baseball cards of themselves. One of the sections on the card was desired locations to work and I knew I wanted to travel. I thought Sydney would be an awesome place to travel and work, so I wrote it down!
After that, I did a presentation to a few of the leaders in Australia on what we were doing in the Americas and I expressed my interest in potentially relocating. A few months later an opportunity came up and I jumped at it! Not a lot of people can say they’ve had the opportunity to move within their company and be able to embrace a new experience, culture, and country.
Throughout the process my talent partner was very involved, and the new hiring manager was really supportive. Adobe provided a relocation package and made everything as comfortable as possible. My living arrangements were sorted out for the first month of being in Australia and I had a relocation specialist who took me around to various apartments to figure out which apartment I wanted.
Even though I didn’t know anyone in Australia and I was moving here all by myself, Adobe made the process incredibly straightforward. That gave me so much confidence that I could get my boots on the ground as quickly as possible. The work culture here is welcoming and everyone I’ve met is friendly and supportive. It’s an experience I’ll never forget!
People talk about manifestation a lot and I am a big believer in the universe, getting after your goals, and making things happen for yourself. Even so, it’s crazy to think that back in February 2017 I said I wanted to work in Sydney, Australia without knowing anyone who lived or worked here—and two years later I moved here.
After spending 3 amazing years in Sydney, I’ve now relocated again, this time to Singapore! I feel blessed to have relocated not once, but twice, with a company that continues to invest in me, my success, and my personal life experience.
During your time in college, you were a division one wrestler. How did your skills as a college athlete translate into the corporate world?
I come from a big family and I’m the youngest of five kids. Growing up in a big family, sports were an important avenue for me and my siblings to get scholarships for universities, taking the financial burden off our parents.
Transitioning from wrestling to a business role, I found that there were a lot of transferable skills—discipline, a competitive mindset, and the camaraderie aspect of building up other people around you. During college I was managing a schedule of 30 hours a week of training on top of performing in the classroom, getting good grades, and trying to keep up a social life. I had to figure out what was most important to me and prioritize in order to be successful.
That applies very well to sales. There are a lot of processes in place to build a pipeline or to build a book of business, but you have to be disciplined to focus, persevere, and get through the negatives to continue on your path of success.