System Architect and Owner
Applied Automation IT
Number of employees you oversee: 4
Brief background of your business:
We started in September of 2018. We started out of a love for people in our community and a passion for technology. At Applied Automation IT, we put people first and information technology second.
How did you land your current role? How long have you been in it?
I founded the company in 2018.
Why should the Tri-Cities care about your industry?
Every business needs IT because every business uses technology.
What challenges are you facing with recruitment? What are you doing to recruit employees?
The challenge with recruitment is finding smart IT people who also know how to talk to people, who value customer service.
How do you stay current when technology is always changing?
It is important to continue training. We work hard to maintain certifications. We are constantly reading updated news articles. We are always striving to research the newest technologies.
What are common mistakes small businesses make when choosing technologies?
The first common mistake people make is making technology decisions based on short term instead of making long-term decisions. The cheaper options are not always the best options and can end up costing more in the long run.
The second is not partnering with a technology expert to consult and develop a technology plan for their business.
Mac or PC?
Depends on what you are using it for. We love both.
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Every leader should have a good vision for their business. If you have a well-developed vision, then everything else will fall into place.
What is the biggest challenge facing business owners/managers today?
The biggest challenge is finding the right people to work for your business and adapting to a changing market so you can keep the right people around.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry or field?
Remove the stigma that IT people can’t be personable.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Stay humble and always have a growth mindset.
Who are your role models or mentors?
I enjoy reading Simon Sinek, Dale Carnagie and Malcolm Gladwell. I have a handful of local business leaders that serve as mentors in my life. I also have a wonderful pastor, who takes the time to really pour into me and help develop both my character and leadership potential.
How do you keep your employees (or team members) motivated?
By giving them quantifiable and highly achievable benchmarks.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today?
I wanted to learn how to hack computers. I mean who doesn’t?
It looks like the coolest job.
How do you measure success in your workplace?
Customer satisfaction is No. 1. We want to earn our clients’ business each and every month. Team camaraderie is No. 2. I want my team to feel like they have each other’s backs.
What do you consider your leadership style to be?
I would consider myself to have a coaching leadership style. I think it’s important to help individuals to develop and grow. I like to see the strengths in each person and help to foster those, while also helping them improve on their weaknesses.
How do you balance work and family life?
By setting healthy boundaries. I am deliberate about spending intentional time with my wife and kids when I am at home. When I am at work, I focus on my clients and building my business.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
I spend a lot of time renovating our house and yard. We bought a fixer-upper this year and it’s been enjoyable to build it the way we envision it.
What’s your best time management strategy?
I like to use a variation of time blocking. I make a to-do list each day of the top 4 things I want to accomplish and then I schedule them into time blocks.
I schedule time in between my high-priority tasks for all of the unexpected things that are bound to come up. It’s a great way to stay organized, but also have some grace for when days may not go exactly as planned.
Best tip to relieve stress?
The things that work best for me are to work out, read my Bible and pray.
What’s your favorite podcast? Most-used app? Or favorite website? Favorite book?
Favorite book: “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” by Jordan B. Peterson.
Podcast: “The Art of Manliness”
Most-used app: Slack
Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote you like to use?
“Would I rather be feared or loved? Um...easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
-Michael Scott, “The Office.”
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!