Who I Work With. Could It Be You?
I work exclusively with information technology companies that offer high value to their clients and want to earn commensurately high margins for delivering that value.
Now, I know that's a pretty vague definition. After all, not many IT companies say they want to deliver shitty service to crappy clients for chickenfeed. So, based on that, I've developed a set of characters and attributes of clients with whom I can do my best work, so they can get the biggest bang for their bucks.
This is important both for clients and me since some clients would find my idiosyncrasies valuable, while some others would find them infuriating. So, this Perfect Client Profile is just a match to my character and values, so it gives you a chance to see whether or not I'm the right guy for your company.
It's not about being right or wrong. It's more about matching certain personal and organisational attributes to make sure that our collaboration is a euphoric synergy not a merely tolerable compromise.
My "Perfect Client" Profile
Regarding who I work with, in a nutshell, I can use the words of British film director, Terry Gilliam, member of the Monty Python team...
"I like working with good people because if I come up with an idea, they come up with a better idea, then I come up with an even better idea, and so on: It's a leapfrog process, and the work becomes much better than it would be if I only did exactly what I want."
In some more detail, my Perfect Client profile comes in three parts...
1. The Buyer
I do my best work with buyers who...
- ...have a clear sense of their values and ethics
- ...know what they want and are able to express it
- ...are mature enough to dismiss fairy tales, silver bullets and instant gratification when it comes to client acquisition
- ...aim for perfection as a lifetime quest but operate on an "excellence on time" basis
- ...are smart enough to understand that while they are in charge, it's their people who actually run their companies
- ...focus on progress not effort, achievements not activities
- ...are more concerned with the value they derive from a product or service than the price of acquiring it. They are savvy buyers
- ...demonstrate good leadership by being exemplars of organisational values
- ...accept accountability that comes with their positions. Don't complain about the mysterious "THEY": "THEY don't let me do this" or "THEY block this idea" Have courage, spine, guts and brass balls to stand up for their convictions
2. The Company
I work with small and medium sized IT companies that...
- ...sell new, complex and/or expensive IT solutions business to business
- ...sell or aspire to sell to real buyers as opposed responding to RFPs and begging purchasing agents for consideration
- ...employ dedicated marketing directors. They are pure marketing professionals not sales managers with marketing as a spare time activity
- ...have clearly defined markets and refuse the "We do anything for anyone for money" type business prostitution
- ...have real employees on the payroll performing the "core competence" work operating out of a specific physical location
- ...are socially responsible and care about the welfare of their employees, suppliers, communities and the environment
I do work WITH clients but not FOR clients. My work is full collaboration between peers, based on mutual trust, respect and credibility to achieve clients' objectives. I do my best work in engagements where...
- ...I work as a catalyst and facilitators for positive change and innovation
- ...I help with strategic, "big picture" issues before doing the tactical nuts and bolts work
- ...I provide objective, unbiased frames of reference, new insights and fresh perspectives
- ...I offer my analytical, diagnostic and synthesising skills with intuitive backup
- ...I guide teams of subject matter experts through the mazes of the implementation process
- ...I act as a contact source for information
- ...I draw on my broad - well, eclectic - experiences to achieve clients' objectives
And I Stay Away From The Role Of A...
- ...cheap contract labourer to abdicate unpleasant work to that employees are too lazy to do
- ...henchman to do management's dirty work
- ...yes-man to second the decisions executives have already made and refuse to change
- ...commissioned salesman dialling for dollars and banging on doors in pursuit of apathetic suspects
- ...miracle worker to single-handedly produce silver bullets to save rapidly sinking companies
In a way, in my client work, I've adopted Joe Gold's, the founder of Gold's Gym, management philosophy...
"To keep it simple you run your gym like you run your house. Keep it clean and in good running order. No jerks allowed, members pay on time and if they give you any crap, throw them out. There's peace where there's order."
I regard myself as an easy-going guy, not a typical stiff-arse corporate pinstripe, so it's important that I communicate my boundaries clearly, so I attract only the right kind of opportunities.
Now that you know what kind of people and businesses I can help the best, you can review how I work.