As we prepare to go on our 35th Marco sales incentive trip with our quota achievers next week, I recall my first trip and how much has changed since then. What started as a small group of about 15 of us has grown to over 115 this year. It made me realize how the size of our company has impacted my leadership responsibilities.
Three decades ago, Barry Opatz came to work for Marco with his first order of business: Develop a new logo to reflect our brand. At that time, office furniture and supplies were the biggest drivers of our business and we aspired to be a one-stop office products superstore. (Yeah, we laugh about that now.)
I’ve had the privilege to work alongside a team of really great leaders at Marco. We’ve had a successful run because of the attributes that each brings to the team. They have taught me a lot about leadership. So in my upcoming blogs, I am going to profile a few of our leaders, starting with our Vice President of Operations Scott Roeder.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year ago already since we made our boldest move: Selling our company to Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a leading investment firm headquartered in the Twin Cities. We knew the move meant we would need to grow – really grow.
So what’s happened since we signed on the dotted line? We bought seven companies, welcomed about 300 new employees and added 6,000 new clients. Yes, it’s been a busy year. But we’re just getting started.
Retreats are common in business today to talk strategy and have more thoughtful discussions about the future. Most often when you hear the word retreat, it involves at least several people and often times many. But there are also personal retreats, which are one-on-one. They allow us to have informal conversations about things we otherwise may not have a chance to talk about.
We’re in the IT business and most often call on IT professionals. They become our point of contact and in many cases, we develop strong relationships with them. They get to know us. We get to know them. So naturally, when they are looking for a career change, they look to us and apply for a job.
I am often asked, “How did Marco develop its high performing culture?” My typical response is that it begins with our executive leadership team. Selfishly, we all want to be part of a fun and high-performing culture. We each do our part to make sure our functional area of the business is productive and that we are creating a culture that people want to be a part of.