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The most common question we hear about building a culture of WOW is “what are the first steps to take on this journey?” As a company walking on this path, we have six lessons that we’ve learned along the way:
Lesson 1
A company needs to live its values, starting at the top. Our CEO often says that his biggest responsibility is leading the team by example. Make sure your values are in the center of every decision you make, from the front r

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It might have been a challenge for some keynotes to top Monday night’s outing, but New York Times best-selling author John C. Maxwell did it handily, kicking off Build IT day two with his incredible insights.

Easily one of the most humble people I’ve ever met, his keynote was riveting. While addressing several concepts from Leadershift, his most recent book (everyone got a copy), John challenged our guests to think about the impact they have on their entire organization—and themselves—with their leadership style.  He discussed leadership ceilings, and how you limit not only your growth but also that of the teams you surround yourself with and on which you depend.  He challenged the audience to consider two questions as they lead: “What do you do to develop yourself?” and “What do you do to develop others?” He also tossed in a caveat about learning—well-timed given the knowledge focus of Build IT—saying that instruction can be overrated…if you don’t improve.  We hope our guests took that to heart!

On a side note, I must share that beyond John’s keynote; it was fascinating to watch him interact with attendees, signing books, and talking with them. He also gave his time for a video conference with our team in India, sharing his warmth and advice with some of his “biggest fans” overseas. His humility and intelligence truly brought immeasurable value to Build IT and our team.

John wasn’t the only speaker who provided exclusive coaching.  As we developed the event agenda, and the Build IT webinar series in advance of the show, we were lucky enough to work with channel leaders who enthusiastically support the idea of “sharing is caring.” There are no secrets tucked away here; they instead agreed to half-hour coaching sessions for Build IT attendees, hosted throughout the event. One business owner shared how blown away he was by the opportunity, and how impactful the coaching session was to his business.

You would have thought the speakers leading our workshop had heard a pep talk from John, following in his footstep and carrying the positive energy into every session. Our guests listened to advice around such as MSP organizational workflows, creating business value, and demystifying the cloud.  Overall, Build IT offered an unfamiliar challenge to attendees: They headed home with an entire library of new tools. Where to start?!

Luckily, the closing panel, “Change Champions,” provided timely advice: don’t try to do it all at once and include others in their organization to tackle the challenge of change.  The impact on culture when a leader rallies the team and includes them as they analyze the current state of the business, identify the areas needing the most help, and develop plans to implement the Build IT Workshop Tools that offer solutions to their biggest problems.

My favorite part of the panel was when our guest speakers, including Paul Dipple, Gary Pica, Brad Schow, Rex Frank, and Chris Romano challenged the business leaders in the room to bring their leaders (remember those people that John talked about?) to next year’s Build IT. I promise I didn’t put them up to it! The message of day two was clear—don’t just develop yourself as a leader, develop your team, and enable them to gain first-hand the knowledge offered at Build IT. Then watch as your business transforms.

I can’t wait to see who takes them up on that challenge.

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