Vijay’s Recap: Transformational CXO Breakfast Seminar Featuring Steve Waszak
Thank you to all who attended the inaugural Transformational CXO Breakfast Seminar last week. We were very fortunate to hear from Steve Waszak, the President and CEO of BTI Systems.
We could not have had a better speaker than Steve to kick off this series, which is intended to give CEOs and CXOs in our community the opportunity to learn from those who have done it; to be inspired to make the right changes in their organizations in order to realize greater success.
In that context, Steve inspired us all. He was candid in sharing his experiences working and dealing with global companies, outlining what BTI had to do to compete in this fast-changing world where more is being demanded of you and there is no “waiting time”.
Steve talked about how BTI not only had to continue what it was already doing but, at the same time, have the courage to change the game plan and set clear goal posts and expectations for a new business using a blank sheet of paper.
His talk exemplified what I believe to be the key ingredients for attaining a “sustainable right to succeed,” which are:
- the uniqueness of the product portfolio,
- the courage to change in this dynamic world, and
- the ability to create stickiness with clients and partners. He brought home the importance of developing a common language and ensuring that each member of the leadership team uses the correct vocabulary, “stays out of the swamp”, talks – and, more importantly, walks – with a sense of purpose, speaks in the language of the recipient, and comes to work every day “conversation healthy.”
His display of props that he uses for his leadership team (you had to be there to see it) also showed how important it is to chunk out big pieces into small, manageable pieces, which he called the “5 footers,” so that the team remains focused on the execution and the performance can be monitored. Steve summed up the lessons he has learned in his leadership tenure at BTI as follows:
Steve also shared the lessons he has learned from some of the visionary leaders on his Board and the ways he practices those in his role at BTI Systems. He explained that a leader must create a sense of “elevated purpose” that arises from clarity about vision, from listening to key customers, and from developing world-class technology like BTI Systems has created.
- Creating a more natural culture of Gap Analysis without swamping
- Changing pilots sooner when course correction warranted (and as we all know that takes tremendous courage)
- Understanding the balance between Increase in sales capacity vs. Optimizing sales productivity
- Adding depth / breath of scenario planning on financials
We at CRGroup thank Steve for taking the time and sharing his thoughts. Stay tuned for the second event in this series, currently planned for late March – early April 2014.
Dr. Vijay Jog
Founder and President
Corporate Renaissance Group
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