One of the most important things to me as CEO is instilling a culture of continuous learning and growth. It’s one of our core values.
Because we’re a growth company, we understand the importance of succession planning. People who are constantly learning and growing need room to grow, and roles to grow into.
Sometimes succession will be part of an exit plan. It’s inevitable. Like me, there will be others whose career path will take them beyond MyITpros at some point. With a well-executed succession plan, the outcome is likely to be far less disruptive, and the transition something to be celebrated.
This succession story begins in December 2004, when Bill McCharen joined MyITpros as a Systems Engineer. When I interviewed Bill for the job I saw a lot of potential, and he quickly became one of the best Systems Engineers we’ve ever had. He knew his stuff and his clients loved him. So much so that when he went on the road to tour with his band, some of his clients would wait for him to return to do work for them. For three years he worked part time for us when he was back home in Austin.
Eventually he left the road and returned to MyITpros full time. When he did, he expressed a desire to get more involved with the growth of the company. This was perfectly aligned with our short and long term goals, including my exit plan.
In 2008 Bill accepted the position of IT Director, assuming leadership of all technical staff, and responsibility for all client services. As our company continued to grow, Bill grew too.
In 2010 he became a shareholder, and in 2012 Bill was promoted to Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
In the spring of 2013, we set a target of January 1, 2015 for Bill to be named President. Our plan in the interim was that as COO, Bill would gradually take over aspects of the President role. In reality, he had been acting as President for months before December 2, 2014, when we made it official. Announcing the change to our staff and to the world: Bill McCharen is now President of MyITpros.
When I took over the company in 2002, I wore every hat in the org chart but one – I did not provide direct technical service to our clients. We had 2 full time techs and 1 part timer, and me. Today we are 24 people with plans to hire 2 more as soon as we find the right ones. This kind of growth could only have happened with a plan for succession, and great people to grow into new positions.
As I’ve stepped out of roles and assigned them to people like Bill, Sheridan, and Lori, so they have continued the progression by delegating duties and creating new roles for people like Brady, Matt, Meredith, and others. We have been firmly committed to growing leaders within our company, and that commitment grows as we grow. In the near future Bill will be CEO. For us to get there successfully, we must have leaders ready to step into exciting new areas of duty and accountability.
Just as we thrive when we help our clients get to where they want to be, we win when we help our people win. We believe in being a workplace where every employee has a clear career path and is actively involved in the grooming of their successors – the teaching, coaching, and mentoring of those who will take over their roles as they advance in the company.
For a growth company, succession is required for success. It’s the only way we will continue to learn and grow.