Trust in Your Team
It’s day 2 in Vegas for Technology Services World, so of course I woke up at 4:38… I think I’ll go to the gym while you enjoy this excellent guest blog by Dan Ahrens. Dan has been with Kronos and in the cloud for almost 3 years and is a manager responsible for customer relationship management. His team provides customer advocacy and ensures cloud customer satisfaction. Prior to coming to Kronos, Dan was on both sides of the table as both the guy buying and the guy selling software systems and support services.
By Dan Ahrens
I had the privilege last week to attend the Kronos Global Sales Kick Off held this year in Atlanta, GA. While every Kronos event is fresh, exciting and invigorates me to push further to exceed previous bests, the keynote speaker this year motivated and challenged me more than anyone I could previously recall.
Erik Weihenmayer spoke to our group of over 1,000 for an hour with no notes, teleprompter, PowerPoint slides or other visible assistance. Now for most of us, even those moderately comfortable with public speaking, this is more than we would choose to tackle, but this was not by choice. Erik is blind. He proceeded to amaze us with truly astonishing stories of accomplishment. Erik has climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest. Stop there. That alone is a feat completed by probably less than 1 in a million people. Ok, let’s continue. Erik has also climbed to the summit of the tallest mountain on all seven continents. Wow! As if that wasn’t enough, he has climbed rock faces that require an elite level of physical and technical ability, like Yosemite’s 3,000+ ft El Capitan (look it up, it will give you chills) and a number of other difficult ascents that would give even the most sure footed adventurer a nasty case of vertigo. Erik’s not done. Most recently he kayaked the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon which has some of the most treacherous, unpredictable, and deadly rapids in the world. Just in case you forgot, let me remind you: Erik is blind.
Erik explained to us how we can transform adversity into an opportunity for growth and greatness, and he pulled from his experiences to make an emotional connection and hopefully – light a spark of transformation in us. One of the things he credited with allowing him to achieve the seemingly impossible was trust. He didn’t just jump in a kayak and start paddling downstream on the Colorado; he had a trusted advisor and river guide that was paddling in a kayak behind him, talking to him via a specially designed waterproof headset to help him navigate the dangerous eddies, hidden rocks and other perils. On his climbs, he had trusted team mates who helped him compensate for a lack of sight by providing necessary details, instilling confidence, and keeping him pointed in the right direction. Even fellow climbers with perfect vision rely on experienced guides, like Everest’s Sherpas, to set the best way ahead.
How many times in life do we feel like we are blind? Not literally blind, but faced with a number of choices and no clear way forward. We find ourselves desperately seeking the ability to see beyond the fog, with a vision that allows one path to shine forth as the best. This is when we often turn to our team; our trusted advisors that we have chosen to help us navigate uncertain waters.
When it comes to workforce management (you knew I’d eventually have to steer it this way, right) many organizations feel blinded by the challenges and myriad of options ahead of them. Technology is moving faster than ever, presenting options never before conceived and all with potential for hidden dangers. Some get analysis paralysis and opt for the “safe” option of staying put, “camping out” with paper timekeeping practices or outdated information systems. At Kronos, we encourage employers everywhere to reach ahead, but that takes trust. Our sales team (and all the amazing folks that support them) helps organizations make sense of the options, guide them to solutions that make the most sense. Our services teams provide assurance and leadership, like seasoned Sherpas, guiding our customers through a successful implementation, while helping them avoid potential pitfalls that could keep them from reaching the summit of “go-live.” Our technical support and cloud professionals are ever present and available (they wear headsets, just not waterproof ones) to advise and guide through the changing waters of long-term ownership of the system, always doing their best to navigate customers on the path with least risk.
Erik couldn’t have done the great things he has achieved (and will achieve) without a team he can trust. Similarly, our customers need a Kronos team of people they can trust. So the next time a customer needs guidance taking the next step, or a fellow Kronite could use help with a challenge ahead of them, or someone in our personal lives is seeking guidance on a difficult decision, be there for them – guide, advise, lead, inform, encourage, motivate. Erik Weihenmayer is a shining example of what can be accomplished when we embrace the concept of trust and team.