Lessons Learned from Executives at the Top of their Games

One of several priorities that have emerged from this year’s conference is how to differentiate and grow your business in this very commoditized industry. In breakout sessions, keynote addresses, and even conversations in the hall, staffing executives have been sharing ideas on how to best compete and break out in this challenging workforce environment.

TechServe put those who have found a way to do it front and center during the session, “From AE/Recruiter/Consultant to President/Owner – How They Played the Game and Thrived.” The all-star panel was moderated by Mindy Zaziski, the outgoing president of TechServe Alliance and CEO of FYI Solutions, Inc. Mindy asked a wide range of questions to her panelists, who included:

  • Karen Wilson, President & CEO, MAKE Corporation
  • Sioux Logan, President, Redstream Technology
  • David Morgan, President of Information Technology, Addison Group

The session kicked off with each panelist sharing their journey to today, which revealed a common theme among those in the staffing industry: there’s rarely a career path that follows a straight line. Many in this space, like Sioux Logan, fall into it from other professions and often learn as they go. Those who have achieved success have done so in an ever-changing business environment, and there’s a lot to be gained from hearing how they encountered and tackled the various challenges along the way.

The 10-10-10 Goal

David Morgan shared the 10-10-10 goal that he set for himself: 10 years, 10 offices, $10 million. He shared that on his 10th anniversary, “we achieved one of those goals – lasting 10 years,” but it took a few more years to reach the others. He shared his philosophy for expansion, cautioning the audience to think twice about expansion for expansion’s sake, and to grow thoughtfully alongside customer needs.

All of the panelists touched on company culture, and how important it is to create organizations that embody the mission of the staffing industry at large: to be a connector and create opportunities. Karen Wilson provided one of our favorite soundbites on leadership, reminding the audience to “be both an employee of the team AND the leader of the team.”

Communicate Your Value

Karen also acknowledged that staffing has evolved in recent years, and “how staffing firms interact with consultants has completely changed. With all of the technology available, consultants can now market themselves and have a lot of choices.” Her advice to staffing executives is to “fully understand, embrace and communicate your value to clients.”

This panel has truly done it all in an ever-changing industry. In the true spirit of TechServe’s mission of collaboration, their lessons learned were a valuable takeaway for conference attendees.