Monday, January 31, 2011


This past week HTG hosted our CEO Forum III in sunny Tampa Florida. We had 20 company principals join us for a day and a half of lively discussion about what it means to become a CEO in an SMB IT company today. We are grateful to ConnectWise for hosting our first day, and enabling us to have a discussion around what the role is, and how to create a structure around the CEO in the form of a leadership team. We discussed selection, compensation, evaluation and all things leadership team.

One of our featured sessions involved Arnie Bellini, CEO at ConnectWise, sharing his vision around what role a CEO fulfills. You can catch the presentation on ConnectWise University, but he really simplified it into two key areas (which I believe are right on the money):
  • Strategy/Vision/Dreaming
  • People/Counseling/Leading
When we take a deeper look - one of these areas involves the future and setting direction. A CEO is responsible to provide the general movement a company will take. They are not focused on the details - the how - but they are to provide the where and the why. Strategy does not just happen. It is intentional and takes effort. Arnie challenged the group to make the time to dream and be very clear about where we will lead our company.

The second area is all about the people. We will go nowhere that our people don't go. It is the role of the CEO to lead people down that path. We have to focus on helping them work at the level they are capable which is often more than they believe possible. At times we need to help them play nicely together in the sandbox. But always we have to remember that people are the main job of all we do - at every level. My experience is that every minute invested in meaningful relationships will always be a good investment.

Day two was focused on people and how we interact with each other. Dr Larry Little was with us - author of the book "Make a Difference" (which is available on - and he led us through great learnings on how we are wired and more importantly how different personalities relate to each other. We learned that each of us are some combination of lion, monkey, camel or turtle - each with unique qualities and characteristics that make us who we are. The magic was not so much in the animal labels as in the communication it enabled. We were able to relate the different personality types to each other and talk freely about things that occur between them. It truly was an eye opening experience for the group.

This year HTG is focused on the fourth pillar in our trek toward excellence as IT companies. We are working on the top of the pyramid - the most challenging area - people. We identified this as a core area of competency we all need to achieve to be able to truly lead best in class organizations. We will be continuing our quest to learn more about leadership, management and people skills this year. Dr Little gave us a great starting point - it is essential we understand what makes people tick - and then learn to manage the interactions that will occur between folks who are not wired quite the same - or maybe are wired too much the same - or maybe are just plain wired. We have a ways to go - so let the journey begin.......

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