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“I have learned an immense amount on human nature and business dynamics. From an executive level, some days require long-term strategic decisions and others take quick decisive action. It takes time and energy to evolve a large entity,” he says.
“Design your life. You know best what makes you happy and fulfilled. If you’re providing value, you are valuable. Doing something that you enjoy will get you excited to get to work in the morning, and be surprised that it’s already time to go home at the end of the day. …If you can’t get to where you want to be in your current role, find a new home.”
Michael J. Noble, Ph.D.
Chief Learning Officer, Allen Communication Learning Services
In 1998, Michael Noble took a summer job at Allen Communication as an instructional designer. Seventeen years later, he is still at the company and became chief learning officer in 2005. Noble says he’s never looked back.
“I find job satisfaction in the creative process of working with a team of experts from different disciplines to design something new,” he says. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have such talented collaborators.”
With Noble’s assistance, Allen Communication has quadrupled, including last year’s revenue growth of 50 percent and client growth of 30 percent. Noble is responsible for leading three-quarters of the company’s employees, and CEO Ron Zamir says that Noble’s “fingerprints are on every part of [the] company,” and that Noble “has been integral to making Allen the leading custom training company we are today.”
As for Noble, he maintains that his best business decisions have been his successful hires.
“I work with the best team in the world, and I am reminded of their creativity, resourcefulness and generosity on a daily basis,” he says. “It’s certainly my dream team.”
“It’s important to give generously of yourself and your talents. People often hold back too much—often because they are protecting their time or because they are afraid of failure. If you are generous, you’re also committed and passionate.”
Chief Customer Officer, Alterra
As chief customer officer for Alterra, Derrick Royce spearheaded the design of a “vision and execution plan for providing extraordinary service experiences for both our customers and employees.”
It’s that focus on both employee and customer satisfaction that Royce credits for Alterra’s success and rapid growth. The company was named the fastest-growing pest control company in North America each of the past three years by PCT magazine. Founded in 2012, it has grown rapidly and is now among the top 20 largest pest control companies, out of a pool of 20,000 companies in North America.
“We’ve designed and built a fun and dynamic culture and as a direct result, we’ve seen positive increases in employee retention, which trickles down to increased customer retention year over year. We’ve truly built a tribe that people want to be a part of,” says Royce.
Prior to joining Alterra, Royce was a customer service and retention consultant for national food service corporations like Arby’s, Panera Bread and Marriott Hotels.
“Demonstrate an attitude of urgency and responsiveness in all things. Prioritize your projects in a detailed daily schedule. Maximize your focus, minimize distractions, execute, and measure your results.”
Chief Sales Officer, Nudge, LLC
Clint Sanderson is known in the office for his sense of humor, but it’s his hard work that helps his company succeed—in 2013, Nudge reported a growth of 2,606 percent with a similar trajectory for 2014.
Under Sanderson’s guidance, the company also grew its real estate asset sales more than 450 percent since January 2013, streamlined the real estate closing process and established a sales training program.
Over his 20-plus years in management and sales, Sanderson has stuck to a few pretty basic guidelines, including the golden rule and eschewing a sense of entitlement. Connected to those core values is a commitment to test products, offers and sales channels rigorously to ensure customer satisfaction, and a belief in leading by example and helping employees succeed.
“We measure our success as a business by the rate of success of our customers. Our future growth and success rely on our ability to meet the needs and expectations of our customers,” he says.