In my early days as the founder of my firm Allata, we have had the opportunity to grow quickly and leverage much of what I’ve learned over the last 20 years. I have been an employee, officer, and partner in 6 different consulting organizations, all of which experienced fast growth and some fast decline. Several of these firms were absolutely delightful places to work and others were quite the opposite. There is a great deal to learn along the way from both the negative and positive experiences.
The common denominator across all organizations is that leadership sets the tone for a firm and its behavior. Leadership and values drive the eventual success or decline of an organization. Many organizations have missions, visions, and values; however, publishing them and living them can be different things. Many leaders make promises or are faced with tough decisions which challenge these values.
Over my career, I have worked for some incredible, inspiring leaders which I’m proud to call my mentors. I contribute much of my success from what I learned from these individuals, even if feedback was tough and critical. In contrast, I have also seen what poor leadership does to a team and organization and this has molded the way I will lead my company going forward.
Whether it’s client interactions, situations with employees, or back-office operations, there are tough decisions to be made. As a firm, we reference our values daily in order to make these decisions. Our value system allows us to move forward decisively and not overanalyze decisions. Lack of decision drives inaction, and standing in limbo is the most dangerous place for an organization.
These are the core values of Allata:
Integrity – Honor our commitments to our clients & people – we do what we say
Transparency – No posturing, no hidden agendas. We engage our clients in our thought process. We present hard truths as bad news ages poorly
Family & Fun – Family comes first, and we must have fun. Life is too short to work with clients, employees, or partners who don’t share our values
Client Success – We exist to serve our clients. It is our job to partner with them, tell them the truth, and respectfully guide them toward success
Self-Actualization – Provide a structure for Allata professionals to reach their highest potential for their family, our clients, and themselves
These values are not just words on a webpage or a sign printed in our office. As a leadership team, we review, discuss, and internalize them on a daily basis. The solutions we deliver can be incredibly complex, but our business is an easy one. We do what we say we will do, reward and recognize those who live our values, and allow nothing else. As I see it, the rest will take care of itself.