I’ve just left IME, a family owned business, after more than a decade (almost 13 yrs).
My friends are struck dumb when they hear how long I’ve worked at IME. Even socialist-minded friends in France raise eyebrows.
In an era when everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, it’s inconceivably unsexy to work with the same company long-term. The automatic thought that people have is: What’s wrong with you?
So – as I depart, I’ve been pondering exactly what it could be that would make someone with drive stay in a company for longer than the next promotion.
I’ve come up with 3 things.
- Leadership. The Action, Not The Words.
As an employee, nothing has been more effective in generating innate loyalty than the confidence to act. And if people don’t have the confidence to act, they stop acting without being told what to do.
As Director of Installations M.E., I have provided the strategic, visionary leadership and management on behalf of the Company. I came from France about 14 years ago; I brought with me a profound knowledge of sales, marketing, technical expertise, strategic management and engineering to lead the Company to new and higher levels of achievement in every facet of business and the industry. I have achieved operational and cost efficiency, operational competitiveness and the delivery of outstanding shareholder value.
Opportunity – With Effort
My broad professional experience, my proven success in managing global businesses and my exposure to an international environment has enabled me to efficiently handle my divergent executive functions. Securing an enviable reputation with a proven record of success, my employment portfolio includes such distinguished positions as Director for Group Brink’s and commercial director of Group TAG. Playing an essential and pivotal role in the Company’s success, I was responsible for devising, defining and implementing new, innovative sales and marketing strategies and furnishing the vision and motivation that are geared to.
I’ve worked with and managed amazing people. I’ve built a great customer service, introduced RS brand to new markets, and launched platforms. I’ve been able to align my personal passions for content marketing and social media with the interests of the company.
But – I’ve also set my alarm to 4am for stretches of weeks at a time. I’ve worked more all-nighters than I’d care to remember. Opportunity has two sides, and the effort of moving up isn’t made on paper.
In the end I believe most people don’t want to be micro-managed. They want to do work they love, and make an impact. I love my work and believe in a culture that rewards merit over tenure, results over title.
3. Choose People Over Process
It’s been suggested to me that perhaps I’m not the easiest person to manage. Yet at IME I’ve always reported to people that might have not taught me something, but have shown respect and empowered me to succeed. On many occasions, I’ve challenged the way things are. No doubt, for the owner of IME that hasn’t always been easy – but never for a minute have I felt without support and I can only thank him for his wisdom after 40 years in this business.
It seems to me that people who are motivated long-term in companies are both a part of and apart from the organisation. You cannot act as a change agent without being accepted at some level by the company itself. But at the same time, there is a desire for improvement that makes you constantly restless and motivated to challenge the current reality.
My specialties: Creating an unrivalled ability to meet customer demands, my career success is attributed to professionalism, experience, integrity, stewardship, perseverance, commitment, keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground and an open approach in working with people. Being fluent in three different languages and maintaining a comprehensive international professional network have also contributed to my success.
In short, doing the right thing, being open to change, respecting people. I’m sure it will continue to shape who I am for many years to come.
Adapted from an article by Todd Wheatland.