Congratulations, You’re The Boss; Now Here Is Your Most Important Job
assuming everyone will fall in line.
Inspiring the following of others
becomes even more difficult if
your operations are spread across
a broad geography with multiple
locations, as was our case with
operations across eleven states.
By this time in my entrepreneur’s
journey. I had no idea that the
company I co-founded would
ultimately employ over 2,000
people and grow to become one
of the ten largest fiber-based
service providers in our industry. I
had not yet co-authored the book
Fusion Leadership Unleashing the
Movement of Monday Morning
Enthusiasts. And I certainly had
not yet figured out that the key
tool to inspire employees to
manifest the Vision was to keep
my own selfish interests in check,
placing the Mission as an equal
priority as I navigated my daily
actions. I was merely attempting
to create a successful business.
In order to earn “buy-in” to the
Vision and the vital following of
my organization, I attempted to do
First, model the Vision. I fixated
on my daily, weekly and monthly
behaviors, prioritizing those
behaviors that demonstrated
my commitment to the Vision.
Because locality, the source of
was important to our service
model I traveled to our many
offices every month to meet and
learn from front-line employees.
Moreover, I demanded that my
fellow c-suite executives get out
of their offices, board planes and
do the same.
On one occasion, a key executive
became red in the face and
threatened me, after I suspended
a technology demo he and his
team were championing, because
he had not tested their idea in the
field, seeking the collaboration
and buy-in of a few local sales
reps, customer care professionals
and customers. “But this will
leapfrog the competition” he
protested. “Great,” I responded.
“We will take this up again as
soon as you return from your
Second, implement change, even
a small change that proves the
vision works. This shows how
smaller steps contribute directly
to your larger Vision.
After two days sitting next to
Claudia, a Provisioner responsible
for turning up new customers,
in our Salt Lake City service
center she asked if it would
be “possible to build an API
(application interface) between
two separate systems,” explaining
that she spends considerable
time very day toggling between
two different screens required
by two different operating
systems. Our CIO and COO, after
substantial work, implemented her
suggestion sixty days later, saving
Claudia considerable time, the
organization considerable money
and delighting out customers with
faster turn-up times.
Claudia became a local folk
hero within the Company,
demonstrating the value of the
close to the customer model,
and allowing me to evidence
my Vision for the power
and effectiveness of local,
Taking time to regularly travel
to our many offices challenged
my schedule and personal life.
Pushing my team to get out
of their offices and evidence
their commitment to the local,
model created strain in my
relationships with my co-leaders.
While difficult, I learned that my
selfish needs (for personal time
and harmonious relationships)
were often in conflict with what
was best for the organization.
Forcing myself to evidence my
commitment to the Mission
ultimately made all the difference.
Over time, it became clear to me
that connecting every person in
the organization to our Mission
was THE most important job, and
therefore my job.
Dudley Slater, a co-author, with
Steve Taylor, of Fusion Leadership
Unleashing The Movement of Monday
Morning Enthusiasts, co-founded
and served as the 15- year CEO of
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