Always surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are. You’ve probably heard some variation of that adage before, but most attribute its origin to industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Throughout my career, I’ve surrounded myself with experts, specialists and people considerably more savvy than me in certain fields. I do what I do well. They do what they do well. Together, we do great things.
The period of growth OneSource Virtual is experiencing right now is one of the toughest times we’ve been through, but it’s the most exciting position we’ve ever been in. We’re growing quickly while expanding to meet the needs of our existing customers base and extend our reach to new customer opportunities.
Moving at such a breakneck pace, and making sure you’re doing so carefully and strategically, can result in analysis paralysis. If you’re not careful, you end up having three meetings to determine how many more meetings you need to have before you can think about what will go into making a plan to come to a decision. You need to be able to cut through that type of bureaucracy and make sure you’re taking action in the most efficient and effective manner.
You also need to stay connected with your customers and maintain an open dialogue with every avenue of your organization. Keeping connected while maintaining the momentum of growth is no easy task. It’s dangerously easy to become separated from customers and departments and end up too far removed from where decisions need to be made.
Taking a page from Andrew Carnegie’s book, I surrounded myself with some of the smartest people in the company. OneSource Virtual’s newly formed Executive Leadership Team (ELT) is tasked with keeping OneSource Virtual moving forward swiftly and strategically as a unified organization. This group serves as the eyes and ears that chief officers, founders and board members rely on to stay informed at all levels of the organization and the industry. The ELT helps us make informed decisions quickly, determine the right strategies, leverage our employees’ expertise and determine the right times to take action. And this team is not just an internal advisement and communication tool. When needed, the ELT can reach out to external resources so OSV is in step with the industry and ahead of the market.
The group consists of a dozen hand-picked OSV executives directly connected to every pocket of the company. Among other things, this allows for a two-way path of company communication. They are positioned to quickly distribute information to every corner of the company, and just as quickly collect and communicate information from their departments to upper level decision-makers. As a result, opportunities can be assessed, action can be taken and decisions can be made to ensure that activities align with strategy and produces desired outcomes. All of this happens in a matter of hours or days, as opposed to weeks or months.
This team mirrors the structure of OneSource Virtual as a company. They will develop in the same ways that OSV develops to realize our company vision. But their overall objective will not change. The ELT makes certain that OSV is executing on the right opportunities from a vision and strategy standpoint, taking into consideration our company values, bearing in mind all of our customers’ and employees’ needs, making sure that we’re addressing critical decisions with immediacy, and helping me make informed decisions as the organization continues to evolve.
I’m very excited about the direction we’re moving in as a company. And it’s due to the fact that I’m surrounded by some of the smartest people I know.