Ultimately, companies win or lose based on their people, not their tools. You can invest millions in infrastructure like software, distribution, media planning and production facilities, but people will always be your most important investment. Coaching people toward greatness is my passion.
Our primary purpose here at BrandStar is to make a positive impact on people’s lives. We are making a living as we’re making a difference. From the single mother working two jobs who needs tips on making easy, healthy meals to the family of someone with a rare disease simply trying to learn more, we are all about making a difference. And just like we emphasize making a difference in the lives of our customers and partners, we want to have a lasting effect on the lives of our associates.
I subscribe to a solutions-oriented method of managing people, helping them realize their ultimate potential. I believe that most people can be molded into greatness. However, I also believe firmly that “you cannot achieve what you don’t believe.” Having the competency to do the job is one thing, but possessing the passion to become great is quite another. As author Jim Collins states in his bestseller Good to Great, “good is the enemy of great.”
Although people are a company’s greatest asset, they can also become your greatest liability. When you aren’t getting the most out of your associates, it winds up costing you three times what you’ve invested into them.
Coaching People Up or Out
I love coaching people and solving problems. I want to either coach you up or coach you out. Sometimes an associate feels “stuck” because they are the right person on our team who happens to be sitting in the wrong seat on our bus. When people get stuck, I like to peel back the layers of the onion and help them get unstuck. So we’ll try to figure out if we can move him or her to the right seat to maximize the benefits for everyone involved.
On the other hand, sometimes we have the right person in the right seat, but there’s an emotional or mental barrier keeping that associate stuck. Whether it’s fear, insecurity or lack of a trainable skill, many people feel helpless in their current situation. I’ll engage with the associate and figure out what they need. Perhaps they don’t feel valued, or they feel that they don’t have a voice. Eroding communication barriers is an extremely effective method that leads to associates getting unstuck.
Ultimately, my goals as a leader are to help people reach their dreams, understand themselves better and make a positive impact.
High Net-Worth Individuals
I’ve had the pleasure to get to know plenty of high net worth individuals, both externally, in the world at large, and internally here at BrandStar. The most commonly used definition for membership as an HNWI is $1 million in liquid assets. However, I attach a different definition of HNWI. It’s somebody with a special talent, a superior work ethic, a drive to strive for greatness. Those are high net worth individuals in my book.
When you are fortunate enough to surround yourself with a number of high net-worth individuals, all in the right seats and striving toward a common goal, then you’ve got the makings of something special.
Mark Alfieri is the Founder and CEO of BrandStar.