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    So, I have a boss now…

    By: Jeff Gau
    December 23, 2015

    For the first time in a lot of years, I now have a boss. With the sale of our company to Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) at the end of October, Tim DeVries, the managing partner, technically is my new boss.

    Jeff-Tim2.jpgThrough process of negotiating the terms of the sale, we occasionally found ourselves on the opposite side of the table. When issues became escalated, it was up to Tim and I to figure out a common ground. Now remember, I was actually negotiating with someone who could ultimately become my boss. Now we sit on the same side of the table, and the chemistry feels good as we collaborate to make Marco even better.

    I recently spent a couple of days with Tim and members of our combined leadership team to discuss our plans for the year ahead. It was obvious after being together for two days that our two teams had synergy and will be successful together. We also had a lot of fun. You hear me talk a lot about team fit because it’s so important in the success equation. I felt good going into the meeting, and I felt even better when I left.

    I’m also realizing that I’m okay with the idea of having a boss again. Here are a few reasons why:

    • Looking at performance differently.
      We’ve always been pretty good scorekeepers at Marco which has driven our continuous improvement. Because NEP is from outside our industry, they have different ways (and probably better) of benchmarking our performance. I learned a few new terms like “accretive,” “gap management” and “enterprise value creation.” The terms are new, but the activities aren’t. We’re just going to be more intentional in our measurement and execution.

    • Getting approval on the big stuff.
      After 12 years as the independent leader of Marco, I have to get used to this one. For significant investments such as acquisitions, facilities and large capital expenditures, we need to be more thorough in presenting our business case. Doing a good job of analyzing opportunities and investments on the front end is a better practice and will make for better outcomes.

    • Expanding resources.
      I have been fortunate to work with very competent leaders here at Marco. They have helped make our company one of the most respected in the industry. We have now expanded our resources to include not only Norwest Equity Partners, but their network of consultants as well. As our business becomes more complex and moves toward a national presence, I welcome their experience and expertise as we continue to execute on our growth plan.
    • Increasing energy.
      I’ve always been a pretty self-motivated guy. This new chapter for Marco appears to be
      re-energizing not only for me, but all of us. We’ve always kept score, but now someone else is keeping score too. We’ve got something to prove. We’ve always set high aspirations for Marco, but we now understand there’s even more opportunity.

    I feel really good about how these past two months have unfolded. We still have autonomy and at the same time have access to resources we haven’t had before. NEP sees our potential and I’m excited for what’s ahead.

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