An incredibly successful entrepreneur, technology innovator, coach and athlete, Diane Smith, CEO and Co-founder of GR8 People, talks about the importance of quiet confidence and her vision in today's Talent Experience Economy.
Q: It's the start of a new year. What's your vision for GR8 People in 2018?
2017 was a year of record growth for GR8 People from both a platform and market-leadership perspective. From the beginning, our team has worked to deliver world-class results that exceed the expectations for some of the most innovative hiring organizations and their leaders. To find the true and right way, to always be a step ahead for them, and for us, is what drives GR8 People as a team. Today, I couldn't be prouder that we partner with customers like Talbots, EA, Informatica, Teradata, NBC Universal, Netflix, Randstad and hundreds of others around the globe.
As we head into the new era of the Talent Experience Economy ('TX'), GR8 People's vision enables organizations to completely reimagine the experience between candidates, their brand and all of their team's users. We want to provide the ultimate talent experience nirvana.
Our collective vision for 2018 stays consistent in providing enterprise customers with the One-Experience Talent Platform to Recruit GR8. Worldwide. We believe that talent acquisition professionals deserve their own platform that connects their entire ecosystem and is centered on delivering the best single user experience possible. One system to log into in the morning and the same to log out of at the end of the day.
Q: You've shared that your #1 reason for having a clear vision is the importance for leadership to plan the Journey. Why?
When a team has clear vision, they are in lock-step with the ability to look forward and see where the company is headed and be better prepared to perform and help us get there. Leaders of all kinds must be captains of their ships and head coaches of their teams with the ability to keep the end result in mind. A leader's vision needs to be strong enough to carry the team through to the end. The Vision helps a leader prepare for the future, chart the course and motivate everyone to take the trip with them.
Q: Second to that, we've often heard you say "Let Success be Your Noise" I think most leaders and the people who admire this thinking would agree. What's been your personal experience?
I am a true believer in actions speak louder than words and quiet confidence. There is a great English saying, "Empty vessels make the most sound" and that is true to its very core. I believe the way to success is to stay focused on why we are here and that is to keep our customers at the center of everything we do. To achieve this as a company involves infinite efforts, clear goals, the most advantageous planning processes and a team of true over-achievers. When we do right by our customers, they will be the ones to shout it from the rooftops, they will let their success be our noise.
Q: You were a coach. Tell me how that experience plays into being a visionary leader.
I still am and always will be a coach first. I was very fortunate to have a foundation of great leaders at a young age. My family, coaches from High School, College and the US Olympic team afforded me many life lessons. I am a big believer in "we" vs. "I", teamwork and quiet confidence.
What I learned from my first experience as CEO of VirtualEdge was that it's not just athletes that want to be part of a team. Every person wants to feel good about what they do, what value they bring and who they work with – coaching enables me to understand people well beyond the skillset.
We all stand on the shoulders of those before us. I am thankful for the sage leaders that coached me, as each have left a mark – a mark that I try to share every day. There is no greater satisfaction than winning with people you enjoy climbing that mountain with every day.
Q: What's your favorite part of being a leader?
I love building a team and everything that goes with it. From helping the team achieve more than they ever dreamed possible, to guiding someone through the process of self-discovery; setting big hairy audacious goals, achieving personal accountability, and learning the power of persistence. No matter what the goal or the outcome, we're all in it together and it doesn't get any better than that.