The leadership culture of Holmes began with the single vision of my father: the sole decision-maker, owner, and employee meant he only needed to focus on himself while building the business. But as he began to add team members to the vision, he had to expand his focus on building a good crew that could work, and succeed, together. This was no easy task.
I observed my father’s leadership culture from afar as a child, then ultimately experienced it by working underneath him as an adult. As I am sure you can imagine, this had all sorts of challenges that came with it…
The concept of being exposed to a single leader alone over the years has its pros and cons. The con is that you are exposed to one style, not having the benefit of ever experiencing alternatives. As a result, developing your own leadership culture can be challenging. This is especially true when you are following the example you witnessed from the same person each day over many years.
The pro is that I saw an example of a deep commitment to the business and the customer. While my father may have had a different leadership style than I would choose, his attention to the customer’s needs was the foundation that this business still stands for today.
Today, the Holmes leadership team consists of three equal decision-makers: myself and my two brothers. We have found our way by being respectful and honoring the opinions that each of us brings. Through discussion (and sometimes debate) we come to a final decision or conclusion.
One of our biggest accomplishments as a leadership team is our ability to always leave it at the door. We work hard to maintain a healthy family relationship outside the business.
To help us accomplish this, we began taking an annual management retreat at Norris Lake that began in 2009. We spend part of the time discussing our business plan, goals and realigning our priorities. The rest of the time we reconnect as a family and have a blast together!
Regarding the culture of our team, I decided to take the traits I witnessed of hard work and dedication and pair it with my strengths of building personal relationships with those I worked with. Over the years, I followed the statement “firm but fair.”
Today, I am proud of the progress that has been made with our team culture. What we needed from a team over the first 30 years as a manufacturer is not what we needed going forward as a forward-thinking marketing agency. I believe a company culture shapes work enjoyment, work relationships, and work processes. It incorporates our values, beliefs, experiences, and habits. We do all this for the end result: delighting our clients and enjoying it in the process.
There is no greater reward to me than to see our team members smiling, laughing and providing one heck of a service experience to our clients. I anticipate our culture to continue on this same path. Bringing in team members that are passionate, entrepreneurial and want to make a difference and have an impact. We welcome their ideas, differences, and contributions.
Today, our clients see the passion and knowledge that our team brings to the table. They trust that we are looking out for their best interests. We will always help them navigate the confusion that marketing in today’s world can bring.