In Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, we introduced you to our 7 Cprime values. But all those values are supported by people, people who do their best. This will be the last blog in this series. We hope this has provided you with insight on what we believe in and makes the people at Cprime do what they do for our customers, every day.
Action. We have a bias toward action.
One of the things we continuously teach our clients is you can talk as much as you want, have those multi-day deep-dive discussions, but until you actually experiment (even fail) and learn from it there is no true, inherent value in talk.
In valuing Action I’d like to bring up our HR team. It’s a small, gritty team that is determined to serve our organization’s growing, dynamic needs. The team takes pride in what they do and in the speed that they do it. And to use our HR Leader describe the action and ownership values in her own words, “I just don’t want anyone to say HR didn’t put their best foot forward or let them down”. I think about that weight of those words and the weight our HR team puts on themselves to take actions and execute.
Whenever our leadership team meets – there’s almost always a kudos to our HR group. At times, I can only imagine it feels like a thankless job – supporting the growing needs of the organization that spans the full lifecycle of all our employees. From my personal experience, the response-time and action-time whenever I put in a request or my team puts in a request is often no more than 24-48 hours from request to resolution. It almost doesn’t matter how small or large the request is; talk about a bias toward action. I immediately will get some very precise questions to narrow down my request scope and I sit tight and watch the magic happen. Whenever I sit in meetings with the HR team – they are very clear of their desired outcomes, the actions they intend to take, and the timelines of when these actions will be executed. There is an incredible form of transparency and trust this action-oriented HR team has built and we are lucky to have them.
For example, late last year the HR team in partnership with Finance and the Operations teams were able too “keep the lights on” to support the day-to-day of running our business but also successfully completed the integration programs of not only one but two of our company acquisitions by yearend! I still remember sitting in meetings mid-year as the teams began to outline their plan of attack for the integrations of people, processes, and systems. There were definitely planning discussions but it was clear that the leaders in each of the groups were itching to jump to integration actions. A plan is important, but action is even more important because that informs how the plan should evolve and change.
Ownership. This value is really about taking accountability and ownership for your thoughts, your actions and reactions, your wins, and your losses.
A few years ago, I read the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and I find its key takeaways resonate with our view of the ownership value.
Admit and own mistakes and develop plan to overcome them, and blame no one else.
As a Leader, you must demonstrate Extreme Ownership throughout the chain of command down. There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.
As Leader, you must explain not just what to do, but WHY. Find out If You don’t know.
Control your own Ego
Simplify the plan
Prioritize and execute
Build trust with your members
Leading down the command
Leading UP the command. Don’t ask your leader what you should do, tell them what you are going to do
The book talks about “Leaders” in where you may be thinking well, that’s not me – I’m just a team member. Not in the Cprime world. We are all leaders – no matter what level, role you have or what your business card says. You own your own destiny.
Last year, I spent valuable time coaching a new team member through the year. Initially, this new leader would communicate his desired deadlines and deliverables and we would collaboratively agree on the plan. We talked about the why, how, and what needed to be done; simplified the plan, and then we prioritized and executed. Except, the execution part needed more more ownership and discipline. Deadlines would pass without much communication or would be pushed-back the day deliverables were originally due. I owned up to this as a failure on my part. Failing to demonstrate extreme ownership down. We constantly re-calibrated and I offered more time to block and tackle and talk through deadlines and issues.
At one point, I remember coaching the person that you define the plans and your deliverables (more often than not I was agreeable to most initial proposals). If you don’t want to take them seriously, let’s not waste each other’s time because he wasn’t exhibiting our ownership value. Slowly, but surely we worked out a cadence and he started to take on more and more tasks and deliverables. This allowed me to scale and focus on other initiatives; albeit providing this Leader valuable learning opportunities to deliver value and quality to one of our key clients. He simply needed the discipline to take the ownership value and the rest followed.
By the end of the year, I can proudly say when I visited the client he had much better relationships in the organization than I! It was his ability to demonstrate ownership that lead to these opportunities and these relationships.