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Atrion Touts “Always-On” Leadership

The 2014 edition of the AlwaysOn Symposium focused on outcomes, with a look at the changing business environment.

Atrion has long prided itself on being an industry leader in the world of IT integration as well as sharing best business practices with those inside and outside the space.

Its annual AlwaysOn Symposium at the Rhode Island Convention Center focused this year on outcomes, with several speakers from Atrion and its partners talking about why it’s important to think about results, not just craft grand plans that sound good on paper.

“We focus more narrowly to execute more efficiently and somehow get off track,” says Dave Ramsden, chief strategy officer at Atrion. Several technology categories—cloud, mobile, social and IT—are “revolutionizing everything we do,” he says. While that revolution brings about challenges, it also creates opportunities for smart businesses.

Research firm Gartner expects the CIO role to “evolve or become irrelevant,” says Ramsden. That means others within the organization have the opportunity to have their ideas heard and thrive in this new environment by leveraging their passions, understanding the organization and its goals, keeping passion and the organization in line, and focusing on business outcomes.

Related: How Atrion Executes a Service-Based Business Model

“Your motivation is the only thing that gives us the energy to create something different,” he says. “You need to stop looking at yourselves and start looking at the organization as a whole.” That means understanding whether you measure success and consider yourselves a company that provides high value (focused on growth and innovation) or high volume (focused on cost efficiency and infrastructure reliability).

“Vision without execution is really just a daydream,” says Ramsden. Atrion, he says, “made the decision to pursue clients, not chase opportunities. By focusing on clients, they build relationships.”

Another critical piece of success in business today is knowing your brand, says Atrion senior director of marketing Garry Foisy. Perception, he says, is formed by what people see in three seconds, what they think in seven seconds and what they hear in 11 seconds, he says.

That’s why it’s important to know your audience, create a connection and deliver the value, says Foisy. He adds that “when brand and experiences are strong, that begins to shape our beliefs and behaviors.”

Related: Atrion Networking is IT Integrator of the Year

With increased responsibility comes more accountability, says Jamie Boughman, Atrion manager of learning and organizational development.

“We all have the power within ourselves to change outcomes,” he says. “Accountability doesn’t have to carry a negative connotation.” Bough urges all employees to see a problem and look for feedback, own the problem by assuming responsibility for the results, and solve the problem by executing the solution, while also using any road blocks as an opportunity for growth.

“Each of you is on your own Yellow Brick Road,” he says. “Don’t wait for the Wizard, since he’s a fraud anyway.”

The biggest problem when it comes to following today’s leaders, says Atrion CEO Tim Hebert, is that “there’s a lot of bad leadership and we’ve become numb to it. Everyone has the responsibility to be a leader. It doesn’t have to be hierarchical.

“The challenge of leadership is a choice. I can choose to be a leader or choose not to be. It’s hard to be a leader all the time though,” he says.

What Hebert calls “always-on leadership” is comprised of having the attitude that anything is possible by eliminating self-limiting beliefs, creating a brand for what you stand for, and having the conviction to do the things you don’t have to do. Image, attitude, presence and conviction are also key components to “always-on” leadership, he says.

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