The ReSET – Bob Olsen

11/23/15

Bob Olsen

Who doesn’t look back and wonder what if? What if we begin each week with insight that keeps us from repeating our mistakes? What if we intentionally started each week with a ReSET? This biweekly column will share how CEOs refocus on what matters.

A Perfect Storm to Weather. COMPASS Cybersecurity faces a perfect storm. The source is enviable, for it comes from clients driving growth. Bob Olsen, their CEO, felt alone in his urgency. He called together his management team. But rather than push them, he started by asking what they felt. Then he listened. And the storm took a strange turn.

Often the Challenge Lies with Us. “I quickly came to realize that our team had the same sense of urgency I had.” Bob was struggling with the wrong side of the right issue. The problem was Bob hadn’t tuned into his team. “Sometimes we don't slow down enough to listen.” It’s ironic, we work so hard to hire the right people that sometimes we forget the very reasons we hired them. “I realized we're on the same page.” But now what…

The ReSET. Once Bob realized “I’m not the only guy driving hard,” he reset, shifting from trying to instill urgency in others, to asking himself how he could harness the urgency they already felt. “The pressure on me is to not miss the opportunity, to seize the moment.” As a leader, isn’t that the type of urgency we all wish on ourselves, driven by a highly functioning, aligned team to make us better leaders? Sometimes the journey starts with truly listening. Bob now faces the challenge of focusing his next team meeting on each person’s role in this perfect storm of growth.

About the Author
With more than 25 years’ experience in law and business, Newt Fowler, a partner in Womble Carlyle’s business practice, advises many investors, entrepreneurs and technology companies, guiding them through all aspects of business planning, financing transactions, technology commercialization and M&A. He chairs the Board of TEDCO and serves on the Boards of the Economic Alliance of Baltimore, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake. Newt can be reached at nfowler@wcsr.com.

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