I intentionally started 2014 with the knowledge that we would change 40% of our staff. However, I was unsure how to do it without sacrificing the morale of the entire company. I knew the team I wanted but was unable to make overarching changes without compromising employee confidence. Several attributes make up a dynamic team: innovation, service, and passion. Most of these attributes were recognized by most of the team, but not all. The talent was there, but the synergy was not. A company is never about the talent of one individual; it’s about the energy created by the right mix of the perfect team. Unfortunately, our culture makes us a fan of the talented, instead of respecting the sacrifice and the contributions of those with character. Character promotes teamwork, leadership, dedication, respect and loyalty.
It’s true that team members are only as good as their leader, but in the first three years of any small business, leadership is limited to what we can attract based on what we can afford.
2014 was extremely transformational for the following reasons:
Reason #1: Professional Passion Was Missing. I recognized the team we started with five years ago was not a team to take us to the next level. For a CEO, inspiration is a reciprocal relationship. You know you have the right team when both leadership and the employee inspires. For instance, team members who want to perfect their craft bring different techniques, ideas, etc. versus employees who simply want income. Team members who desire to learn more about their industry, technology, and who look for ways to improve the company are apparent at IGS, and are a welcome refreshing force for the coming year.
Reason #2: Transition Was Necessary. At the start of 2014, I outlined all the people I wanted on my starting bench—my dream team. The list wasn’t about the best and the brightest, it was about attitude, character, teamwork, humility, passion, and patience. As of December 2014, I have that team in place at IGS. Each fills a spot that brings value to the company and to clients.
Reason #3: Intentional Organizational Development. I left 2013 knowing that I had to make major changes to get the team I wanted and to take the company to the next level. My challenge was how to make changes without breaking the morale of the employees I wanted to keep. Confidential things happened, but I was unable to tell employees, so I had to be intentional about how to bring transition over a ten-month period in a manner that required employees to be patient and trust me. I’m happy to say that the employees who remained patient and trusted my decisions are still with IGS.
Reason #4: Knowing the Difference Between a Strategic Position and a Support Position. Everyone thinks they can lead. The most difficult position to be in as a CEO is to tell someone they are good at what they do, but are not effective at leading a team. An IGS leader inspires the team, wows the client, initiates new ideas, impresses leadership, and is intuitive. I believe leaders are born; however, I also respect the need for support roles. In our society, too often we applaud the number one position, but without fully understanding the value of the number two position, the vision can never be realized, because he or she executes the vision.
Leadership is a constant evolution. Good talent doesn’t make a great team member. We are all equal parts of a dynamic team, even myself. I cast the vision, and my knights around the roundtable execute. The new team fits like a glove. Each has a purposeful position and contributes specifically to the growth and profession of the company.
The perfect IGS team is now realized.