Sep 13, 2017
Rick Nelson is a leader, and as the CEO of
Direct Technology, his team went from 12 people in 2006 to over 650
employees today. Rick shares how his Air Force background serves
him today, and speaks candidly about owning up to his own
strengths and weakness. He explains how he tackles today’s business
challenges, and how he values quality people over people
[3:53] Almost all issues, challenges, and opportunities exist
within people. Individuals want to know they are contributing in a
meaningful way to something that has a purpose, and that they can
grow personally and professionally within the organization.
[6:00] Rick looks at challenges by root cause analysis. He asks
himself what he’s trying to accomplish; is it broken; and if so,
why? He asks why, seven to ten times to get to the root
cause. With the root cause, he calls in outside help, develops the
vision, describes the vision, gets leader agreement, and executes.
They ensure the mission is consistent with the goals.
[7:30] Rick talks about a challenge buying a sizeable
organization and integrating it into the company. It meant aligning
the company vision, getting individuals aligned with their work,
with their units, and then into the overall company.
[8:59] Rick realized that maintaining a consistent customer
experience meant he needed to delegate the assignment to others
with a better ability to focus on customers, so he could maintain
the big picture.
[13:50] For Rick, personal coaching provided great value to him,
and he saw a need for business coaching. He recommends not waiting
for a catalyst. Get an an outside coach.
[21:47] Rick talks about creativity, rigor and tight discipline
in business. Each business has its own story, but they all sell
(creativity), deliver (rigor), and get paid (tight discipline). All
problems relate to these three areas. Business problems are
innately hard to solve. Coaches have solved this
[29:02] Pride is a powerful motivator, but if you hold on to it,
and it leads you to insist on your way instead of the right way, it
can be a problem. Focus on giving your best effort, and letting
your pride show in the excellence of your performance.
Vulnerability and candor inspire people to follow you.
[33:29] Veterans bring skillsets and the capacity to drive
further, faster, than others. If you start with the individual, and
look at the characteristics gained by their military experience,
including EQ, you’ll see an outstanding person. Rick talks of
veterans he has hired that he calls business athletes.
[40:41] CEOs need a succession plan. He and his partners worked
the succession plan into the development of the company from the
beginning when there were only 12 people.