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Building High Performing Teams

December 19, 2013

You’ve probably seen the axiom attributed to Peter Drucker, “culture eats strategy for lunch”.   If you author a divinely inspired organizational strategy but have a toxic culture, you have little chance of experiencing sustained success.  When interviewing candidates to join our Mid-Atlantic Regional team, we screen on five key attributes:

Character/Integrity─Our commitment to this attribute is undergirded by the admonition that intelligence and contribution alone don’t protect associates who leave a trail of destruction behind them in broken relationships and broken promises.  Integrity isn’t applied as a synonym for character; it measures whether the candidate has the “structural integrity” to deal with and embrace current reality. Intellectual honesty is a product of integrity. In our culture it means we tell the whole truth to facilitate wise decisions, and not half-truths to gain the decision we desire.

Intellectual Capacity─Candidates have to show sufficient intellectual capacity to master relatively complex technology; recognize customer business drivers and objectives; and have the strategic capability to tie the two together to develop relevance and synthesize best-in-class solutions.

Articulated Methodology─When we hire a “conscious competent”; someone who has enjoyed repeated success and can articulate the specific behaviors and practices that lead to that success, we find that person’s progression through the learning curve and his or her ability to deliver a positive result is dramatically accelerated.

Emotional Intelligence─Some candidates come with a keen understanding of emotional intelligence (EI). Where others may lack an empirical familiarity, most intuitively understand the four quadrants of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship skills. Possessing situational awareness is a critical skill for developing and maintaining highly functional relationships and fostering collaboration and strategic partnership.

Velocity─Ferris Bueller got it right when he said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I have found a candidate accustomed to high velocity assimilates more quickly than one who has to speed up to keep up.  Our customers “innovate or die” and “execute or die.”  As customer buying personas continue to evolve in a social selling economy, they increasingly embrace the promise of cloud computing and the benefits of migrating to a public or private cloud environment.  Best-in-class bandwidth, compute and storage resources all work in tandem with a culture built on velocity to deliver a premiere customer experience and allow us to maintain industry leading customer satisfaction and net promoter scores when promises made are promises kept.

At Peak 10, our corporate values are more than words in an employee handbook.  We attain “peak” performance by aligning culture and strategy with our foundational values of professionalism, teamwork, openness, respect, humility, innovation and urgency.

Steve Scattaregia is a student of the human condition and is the regional vice president for Peak 10’s Mid-Atlantic region.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest