Have you ever met a CEO or company president that feels he or she is of celebrity status? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon these days. We live in a celebrity-centric world, where emphasis is put on what and how many events you attend, how many hands you shake, and the number of followers one has accumulated on social media.
While this celebrity-centric culture might be good for one’s ego, it’s not at all good for businesses and organizations that operate under them. I recognize the importance of finding the right leaders to set policy and provide direction and vision, but as a president I do not believe I’m the most important person in our company.
Without our software engineers and the product development team, we would not have a product to offer our clients. Without our support team, we could not offer the amazing service that receives so many compliments. Without our sales team, we could not engage with potential clients who are so desperately trying to gain an advantage in the development of their next royalty-paying hybrid or variety. And without our administrators, we could not keep the company running.
Providing we surround ourselves with the best managers and leaders, then we get the best and wisest council possible, resulting in a stronger company more in-tune with our clients’ needs.
So, what do I do? I tie it all together, I help it run and I empower the employees to do the best job they can. It’s an important job, but it’s not the most important. One of the ways I try to empower employees is by encouraging them to think beyond a problem, to think toward a solution. From there, it’s the job of the leadership team to determine if the solution is appropriate or if it needs adjusting.
One of the best pieces of advice ever given to me was when I was working in England at a vegetable processing factory. My boss, Steve Higgins, said: “Don’t come to me with a problem; come to me with a solution.” And we worked side-by-side as a team for 6 years.
That’s the same culture that we have here at Agronomix. It’s not a top down company, but rather a side-by-side. By encouraging employees to think about solutions, it brings them to a leadership mindset, compared to “just an employee” mindset.
I believe that by empowering others, our team will feel they work for a company that encourages both personal and professional growth, and as a result Agronomix will continue to push the envelope in delivering solutions.
(First published on SeedWorld.com | February 2018 | Updated September 2018)
Christopher Leonard, MBCS is President of Agronomix Software – leading software for plant breeders and variety testers.