“I want our leaders to really make a difference...to grow themselves and then their people. THAT is what will make our future even brighter,” Mark exclaimed, barely able to contain his enthusiastic grin.
I smiled across the table at him. He gets it. Here is a leader who understands the development progression to not only make their future bright, but that will take his organization to heights unimagined. This is exactly the type clients who engage and excite me.
For two decades, since his father founded the company as a one-room printing shop in a dilapidated warehouse, the business had grown steadily. Within 5 years, it was grossing half a million dollars in revenue, and by year 10, they had surpassed the $5 million mark annually. Exploding revenue meant expanded facilities and more employees. By the time Mark took over as CEO, five years ago, they had more than 400 workers. Since then, presses have been replaced with high-speed copiers and computer stations. Work orders have arrived at an ever quickening pace. Both Mark and his father are thrilled with the company they’ve built. And rightfully so!
So, why the need to strengthen the leadership? Well, Mark’s been around the block. He’s unbelievably well-read, highly educated, and more importantly, kind of a renaissance man. He and I have known each other for over a decade and each time he approaches me for feedback, I’m the one who walks away with a sense of enlightenment.
You see, Mark knows that the success of his company is only as strong as the leaders he has. And he has some great ones. So great, in fact, that he sometimes has trouble keeping them. There are only so many top positions at his company, and he knows that while he may lose some great leaders to other opportunities, their individual success will pay off for him in the end. And it has, for each of this top three vice presidents are leaders he trained and lost to other organizations, before hiring them back into executive positions.
“The cross-pollination is good for our culture, good for innovation, and ultimately good for business” he admits.
It’s thrilling to share lunch or coffee with Mark. Here is the leader of a company that has gone from good to truly great. A company where employees want to work. A place where leaders are valued and valuable. But Mark isn’t resting on his laurels. Instead, he’s looking for a way to challenge the status quo.
In doing so, he will ensure his organization is StayingGreat!
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