CEO Clubs Newsletter, February 2016
That time is now.
As my company keeps growing (Zitec was funded in 2003, by 3 engineers with 3000 USD in their pocket; we're past 100 colleagues now, with a turnover of 4.5M for 2015) and my kids also keep growing (Alex jr is 6 & Ruxandra is 8) I am facing new challenges and new rewards everyday. There were lots of great and rewarding events in the past, both business-wise and family-wise, but I would never trade today for something that has happened in the past.
I am looking forward to tomorrow. I am confident since I know I always have my wife Simona next to me, both at Zitec (she is the Chief Operating Officer of Zitec, we share the same office since day one) and at home.
I got asked this questions a lot. With the risk of sounding a bit arrogant I have to admit I don't have a personal hero, a specific role model. Sure, I admire lots of people, from historical figures to business people, sports stars and social activists. All these people (I could list a ton) excelled in one or more areas (and sometimes were really lousy in other areas) and there are lots of lessons to be learned from their stories. However, I believe that we should all walk our own path and use such lessons to improve ourselves instead of placing someone on a pedestal and blindly following their lead.
My main goal and biggest challenge for 2016 is turning around my company Zitec, from an 100% service oriented business to a company where we build&market our own products.
While we will surely keep growing and improving the service side of our business (both software development and online marketing), my main challenge is to build a product-oriented team that can market a product of our own.
I don't expect this will be easy, but I think we've got now what it takes and we are already making progress in this direction.
This is an easy one, especially since I've recently been analyzing them (remember the recent "Socratic dialogue" workshop?).
I will start with freedom, as without this basic foundation I am not sure how much value anything else could have. Sure, we can debate on what freedom is and how absolute freedom is an impossibility, as we have to accept some limitations (living in a society, living in a specific country, establishing a family, etc.), we should do this by our own free choice, not imposed by others, society or religion.
Next I would list integrity (I know it did not work well for the Starks in Game of Thrones, but I'll stick to it). Being honest, having strong principles and a well calibrated moral compass is key in defining myself.
Family - I think this needs no other explanation.
Critical Thinking is the forth personal value I would list. I know it's more of an ability than a value, but I always appreciate it in others just as much as I dislike the idea of accepting any dogma.
Efficiency is also on my value list.
Fun. Everything should be fun, from family to work activities. Sometimes is hard, and some tasks will always be unpleasant (think about firing someone) - but adding a fun factor everywhere possible is very important for me.
I would like people to see me as a doer, as someone that can make a difference, someone that delivers on his promises. This is valid for everyone in my life, from my family, wife and kids, to my colleagues at work and my customers.
So it's only natural I'm a big fan of Captain Jean-Luc Picard's favourite Star Trek line "Make it so!" which is the origin of our Zitec motto: "Make it software!"