Red Wing Software - Notes from the President Ken Hilton

Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

With all the political noise dominating the airwaves, many people may not realize the Summer Olympics take place later this year in Brazil. How would your business team do in the Olympics? I am not asking if you have a great pole vaulter, sprinter, or golfer. I mean: is your team trained, do they practice, and do they have the right equipment to be the best at what they do?

As with any great team, the most important thing is to start with the right people and make sure they are in the right positions. Just like a great sumo wrestler wouldn’t make the best relay anchor, a great sales person won’t necessarily make the best accounting manager.

Once you get the right people on the team, it is important to ensure that all players are encouraged to learn all they can about their position on the team. Just like professional athletes are always learning about the latest workout techniques to fine tune their game, everyone on your business team needs to regularly receive continuing education and stay apprised of the latest technologies and tools of their trade. This can be as simple as providing them with trade journals, attending local networking opportunities, or hiring good coaches (business consultants).

Finally, you must make sure your team is playing with the best equipment. You can’t expect a world-class golfer to be using 20-year-old clubs, or a world-class programmer to be using a 1990’s era computer. Don’t give away the gold by making your team play with inadequate equipment.

While striving for the gold medal, we must also remember that bronze is still a great accomplishment. I’m always amused when sports commentators, who have likely never played the game, negatively comment on the effort put forth by a competitor that stumbled during the performance. These are Olympic athletes--the best in the world. It was still a great performance, even though it wasn’t what some might consider to be perfect.

The bottom line is: hire great people, give them the knowledge to succeed and the equipment to perform, and when they stumble, encourage them to get back up,

- Ken Hilton, President

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