Mike Thompson is the CEO of Groupware Technology. Mike Thompson is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Mike provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Groupware Technology. Mike Thompson joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded Groupware Technology our Impact Company of 2019 award, and we are delighted to have Mike join us for our Leader Round Table Interview.
The Groupware Technology story is very interesting, and we are very excited to not only interview Mike about his very successful business and entrepreneurial spirit, but also put Mike through our popular speed round as well. Mike, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview, and answering some questions about leadership, your vision, and your passion.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for Groupware Technology?
“Groupware Technology is the go-to IT solutions provider to transform your company to be competitive in a digital era.”
2. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give CEOs just starting out regarding keeping a company moving forward, and please tell us the key to your company’s success?
The key is customer service—I believe it is the key differentiator for every business and it is your customers who make or break you. Peter Drucker, considered to be the godfather of management principles, put it best when he wrote: “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. It is the customer who determines what a business is. What the business thinks it produces is not of first importance – especially not to the future of the business and to its success. What the customer thinks he is buying and considers ‘value’ is decisive – it determines what a business is, what it produces and whether it will prosper.” In fact, I often tell my team that our customers define our value.
3. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
I welcome challenges. When pressures mount or when you face adversity, remaining calm and taking a level-headed approach yields a better outcome and sets a good example for your team. Don’t let emotions cloud your decision-making process.
4. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Groupware Technology, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Our company vision is “Creating Customers for Life’’–without a steadfast commitment to the highest levels of customer satisfaction, that vision would not be possible. To ensure the execution of our vision, our teams meet and
communicate with customers as well as partners on a regular basis to develop and deepen our relationships with them. “Creating Customers for Life” is what our teams strive for with every customer interaction, be it in person, on the phone or on social media.
Our commitment to customer satisfaction is so important that it is also woven into our brand promise of “We Answer the Call”–we strongly believe in always being available to our customers.
5. What is the one thing Groupware Technology does to have great communication with their customers?
It goes back to our brand promise: “We Answer the Call.” It is our promise to always be available to our customers. This promise drives every aspect of our business, communication and relationships with our customers.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
We consistently touch base with customers, partners and vendors to be aware of changes in the business and technology environments that can affect us and our customers. It is obviously critical for an IT solutions provider such as Groupware to stay on top of the latest technology and emerging technology, so we consistently invest in training and certifications for our engineers to ensure that they have the expertise in the advanced technology necessary to meet customer technology needs.
I also belong to a number of Boards of Directors, from which I also glean business intelligence and stay abreast of current issues in the business and technology arenas.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Groupware Technology?
My “why” is to make a positive difference for everyone that I come in contact with. My competitive nature and my will to succeed empowers that “why” and keeps me motivated to lead Groupware to take the company to even higher peaks of success.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
The book that comes to mind is “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by consultant and speaker Patrick Lencioni. The author writes about five factors that can derail a team and how you can overcome these dysfunctions to work effectively and keep focused on your end goals.
The book gave me greater insight into understanding teamwork and how to lead my team to better communicate and understand each other so that we could work cohesively to make Groupware a success. I had my executive team read the book as well, so that we could all be on the same page so to speak, with how to grow together and move forward.
9. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at Groupware Technology?
The most important thing is transparency. When you are clear and honest about company strategy and goals as well current company performance, you foster trust on the part of your employees and motivate their engagement in carrying out company objectives. In fact, polls of companies who are consistently named as best places to work show that transparency from senior management is a top employee engagement driver.
At Groupware, we foster transparency with our “First Fridays with Mike” company-wide conference call, our quarterly All-Hands meetings and a yearly national kick off meeting to convey our strategy and long-term goals to employees. We also have an open-door policy as well as a monthly CEO lunch with new hires where new team members can get acquainted with me and feel free to ask me questions about Groupware and my vision and goals for the company.
10. In one sentence, can you give some advice to fellow entrepreneurs wishing to build a company as exciting as Groupware Technology?
Have a clear vision for what you want to achieve, put the right team in place to carry out that vision and empower the team with the resources to be successful.
We would like to have some fun and do a “Speed Round” with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only.
Here you go!
1. In three words or less, What makes a successful CEO?
Teambuilder, Self-confidence, Humility
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
Positive influence & outcomes
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Drive, determination, desire
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Groupware Technology?
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
Engaging, Dynamic, Leader
10.What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English Language?
Mike Thompson, Thank you so much for sitting down with us at our DotCom Magazine Leader Round Table. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping others learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We hope your interview helps our readers, and we wish you, your family, and of course Groupware Technology, nothing but the best. Thanks again!