Always Be Leading

Silhouette person jumping over 2015 on the hill at sunset

By Dick Stark

On January 19, RightStar will officially kick off 2018 with an All-Hands Webinar. RightStar’s tagline for 2018? Always Be Leading. We will discuss leading from the inside and how everyone can help drive RightStar’s next stage growth. We will also summarize 2017 and discuss our plans and strategy for 2018. The following is an excerpt from my weekly email to all RightStar employees.

Whether we realize it or not, every one of us interacts in some form or fashion with customers, prospects, or partners. This puts us all in a leadership position on a regular basis. In case you don’t think of yourself as a leader, let me review several examples.

Thought Leaders. RightStar sales and consulting teams have an opportunity to get badged or certified in a specific area of expertise: Atlassian, BMC, DevOps, or ITIL. This is strongly encouraged and attainable through self-study, web-based or on-line instructor training, followed by a certification exam. Once certified, it is very likely that you will know as much if not more than 90% of the customers or prospects that you work with. Having this badge or certification gives us the confidence to say that we really are our “customers’ expert advisors, and we always have their very best in mind.” Value creation and solving problems trumps just reselling software any day.

Continuous Improvement Leaders. Great leaders are not born, they continually get better. Want to feel more confident about talking to CIO’s? Read Mark Schwartz’s, A Seat at the Table. Can’t really talk intelligently about DevOps? Read Gene Kim’s, The Phoenix Project, or, The DevOps Handbook. In 2018, let’s start a bi-monthly webex based book club brown bag lunch. RightStar will pay for the cost of the book. All that’s required is your participation. Will reading, discussing and applying several books a year help you become a better leader? Yes! No doubt about it.

Accountable Leaders. We all must be accountable for our actions, no matter what. If we promise a customer a deliverable or proposal by a certain date, we must deliver. From experience we know that our customers do not want to hear any excuses. They don’t care if the dog ate our homework. They only want the job completed. By holding yourself accountable, even when making an excuse is an option, it sends a strong message that we care more about results (and the customer) than anything else.

Tough Leaders. Every one of us possesses some level of what Angela Duckworth, author of Grit, calls grit—mental strength, which is a unique combination of passion, tenacity, and stamina, that enables us to stick with our goals until they become a reality.

If you’re in sales you must make calls you don’t want to make. If you’re a consultant, you may have to scrap a project and start over. The week before Christmas, one of our consultants worked 30 hours straight trying to move Remedy into the Azure Cloud. Despite all those hours, she had to roll back, not exactly the outcome she was expecting, but will try again next weekend. Tough leaders don’t stress about failures. They see failure as a necessary step in the process of reaching their goals.

What kind of leader are you? How can you get better and what can RightStar do to help? The good news is that any of us can improve with a little extra effort and focus. Here’s to 2018: Always Be Leading!

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About dick1stark

I am the President, CEO, and founder of RightStar Systems, a leading IT consultancy and BMC Software Solution Provider and Atlassian Expert Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. Finally, in 2016, BMC selected RightStar as its 2015 Supplier of the Year for its consulting partnership and excellence in service delivery. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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