Chalk it up to a wave of nostalgia and sentiment I’m experiencing as I begin my 12th year with the Changepoint organization, but I have been thinking of late about the terrific team I have the privilege and honor to lead. Quite a long time ago now, when I was first embarking on my career, a mentor provided me a pearl of wisdom that I have not forgotten. “If you want to be successful, surround yourself with great people.”
As I walked around the Changepoint development lab, the other day, I was reminded of that piece of advice and how fortunate I am to be part of this successful organization, surrounded by a team of tremendous talent.
The lab is literally buzzing with activity as we design and build the next release of Changepoint, deliver support to our customers and plan for future releases. Like myself, we have a highly tenured team. Many people have more than 10 years of service. This means that each of our functional areas is very strong; led by seasoned professionals characterized by deep industry knowledge and a commitment to excellence. I’m not the only beneficiary of a mature, seasoned team. Our customers certainly benefit as well. Experience produces better product faster, and that is always a good thing from a customer’s perspective.
Surrounding yourself with good people is really just the beginning. You have to understand your team – their capabilities, their ambitions, their strengths and their weaknesses. You have to provide an environment where they can be successful, offer autonomy, responsibility and authority.
My advice to our R&D staff has always been to surround themselves with good people. I encourage them to listen and be open to new ideas, to nurture leadership and avoid becoming defensive and repressive.
If that magic happens then a team will hang together to share the glory and over come the challenges.