Jim Pitts is the General Manager of Blue Ridge Mountain Club. Jim is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Jim provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Blue Ridge Mountain Club. Jim Pitts joins other leading Managers, CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded Blue Ridge Mountain Club with our Impact Company of 2019 award. We are delighted to have Jim join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview and our popular “speed round” as well.
Jim, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for Blue Ridge Mountain Club?
We are a one-of-a-kind mountain living community nestled in more than 6,000 acres of sweeping Appalachian views. In short, Blue Ridge Mountain Club is a place where mind, body, and spirit can soar.
2. What is the key to your company’s success?
Blue Ridge Mountain Club exists to add to the beauty of what is around us, not to change it. We have the good fortune to be nestled in some of the most pristine and stunning natural surroundings you’ll find. Our goal has been to build a community that complements what is already here, adding world-class amenities that draw families in and provide value to the High Country of North Carolina. Families are proud to live and experience the lifestyle here; it’s a legacy they want to leave for generations. Creating something of true worth for BRMC families has made all the difference.
3. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Take great care with building a hard-working, passionate team you can trust, one that is fully bought into the vision and culture of your company. The rest will take care of itself.
4. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
It’s critical to have a long-term plan, a vision to hold onto when challenges pop up. You may have to take an alternate path or encounter far more detours than you anticipated, but keeping your eye on where you’d like to go makes it all worth it.
5. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Blue Ridge Mountain Club, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Our families’ satisfaction is everything to BRMC; they are the fabric of this community. Everything we do points to our goal of creating a thriving, active living experience for them.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
Travel, reading and spending time with members of the High Country business community.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Blue Ridge Mountain Club?
I get up in the morning to serve our community, both the literal one we’ve created at BRMC and the larger one beyond its walls. I keep myself in peak performance by eating a healthful, Paleo diet more often than not, and by sneaking in small pleasures where I can. It’s a balance!
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
Two books influenced me greatly early in my educational and business years, and they continue to shape my career; both are about design.
“A Pattern Language” is a book about place-making and the emotional, visual, and psychological impact places and spaces have on our lives. As a community builder and design professional, I value how we experience our surroundings, and study the elements, dimensions, materials and scale – the essential place-making framework that creates an emotive response in people.
“The Creative Priority” is a book about the design process and problem solving through the execution of ideologies, tools and processes that reinforce the creative process and reduce inhibitions and stagnant thinking.
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 Blue Ridge Mountain Club?
Our team is on-site daily, walking the trails, meeting our families where they are, seeing both physical and figurative development as they happen within our community. Keeping everyone informed and focused helps keep their priorities clear and makes our objectives easy to understand.
10. Can you explain what leadership means to you?
Leadership is setting an example by embodying all you hope your team will be and all you expect your employees to do. Delegating is crucial, but you can’t delegate character; being as hard-working, service-oriented and dedicated as you expect others to be sets an example more powerful than words.
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?
Vision, service and support
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?
Family, nurture, community
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Tenacity, focus and humility
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Blue Ridge Mountain Club?
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
Always looking forward
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English language?
Jim Pitts, thank you so much for sitting down with us for our DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Blue Ridge Mountain Club, nothing but the best.