Irene Williams, CEO of 21st Century Technologies, was the speaker at the December 2011 ACG Luncheon in Austin. Drawing on over twenty years experience in leadership positions she has helped her company grow 50% in revenues each year since 2007 and continues to create new strategies for the future.
Her presentation to the Association for Corporate Growth was not a typical "CEO Talk" that one might expect at a business luncheon. Too often executives deliver canned investor pitches about their company or ego oriented "how to be like me" pontifications. Instead Ms. Williams shared a series of personal stories, that weaved together her insights about success, in a personal manner that few CEO's can deliver.
Her list included three simple, yet meaningful steps that can help everyone in their life's journey:
1. Define success in a ways that makes it personal and have a time frame for getting to your goal (know what you want and when you intend to have it).
2. Hire "superstars" and delegate (too often leaders feel the need to do it all, but when you have the right people they can take care of the details).
3. Never underestimate the power of consistent and committed passion and energy (find your passion and tap into it full throttle).
Her enthusiasm and total enjoyment for her career were evident in they way she spoke and responded to the questions from the audience. While she has an impressive resume, she did not have a specific background in the world of intelligence, analytics, security, or data mining. Instead she has an unparalleled work ethic and a desire for corporate growth and success. Her tenacity, not her schooling in her industry, has been the spark that is leading the company.
Williams added a few points during the Q&A:
*A good leader can recover fast from the hard knocks that come with running a business. When you lose a deal, an employee or have another setback, get up fast.... and respond to the needs of your team.
*The most important gift you can give to another person is your time, but you must be careful about managing your calendar, because as your company grows it is impossible to have regular one-on-one meetings with every employee.
*Hire a great marketing team early. The more complicated the sales the more important marketing is to your company's success.
*If a leader is passionate about their work, they must schedule time for "balance". Balance makes you a better executive, parent and person. When you are well rounded you will make better decisions for the company.
The Central Texas Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth continues to host the best educational and networking events for growth oriented middle market professionals
Have A Great Day
(Disclaimer: My wife, Sara, is the chapter administrator for ACG in Austin and San Antonio).