For Ron Antevy, the president and chief executive officer at e-Builder, the maker of cloud-based construction software, fostering a highly productive and collaborative work environment stems from having a workforce that truly likes each other. That is why Antevy seeks out opportunities for team members to build true friendships inside and outside of the office.
“The key is developing trust amongst the team,” said Antevy in a recent Q&A session with The Saas Report. “ I work hard to bring the right team members together and create an environment where everyone feels safe to express their opinions. They are also free to disagree with a point of view without feeling like they will be penalized or judged for their opinion.”
Antevy, who has been at the helm of eBuilder since 2010, after serving as president from 1998, said his management style is based in part off the writings of Patrick Lencioni, the American author of business management books. Two of those include: “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and the “Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive.”
But it's not only Lencioni that Antevy draws his management style from. The executive has been in a leadership role for more than twenty-five years and many of those experiences have also shaped how he leads. He does credit some of it with mentoring by two specific leaders in the early part of his career. Through them, he saw early on how the actions of executives empowered him and others and played an important part in his management style.
“At a Vistage meeting in 2004, I met Peter Schutz the former CEO of Porsche (he is credited for turning the infamous car company around in the 80’s). He had a profound impact on me and taught me many lessons that influenced my style and that I still practice today,” said Antevy, noting that earlier in the decade technology companies were reeling from a market correction which tested his ability to lead. He learned then that during times of great difficulty employees are willing to go to great lengths if the company’s leadership is honest and transparent and truly cares about their fate. That too had a profound impact on how he leads as the CEO of a SaaS company. “We strive to align the company goals with each employee’s personal goals. Finding this alignment requires understanding each employee’s personal goals which each manager does through various formal and informal processes,” said the CEO. “We look to ignite an employee’s passions in their daily work and that results in them producing their best work. “
As for what piece of advice Antevy has for up and coming CEOs, he said it all boils down to listening. That means not only listening to existing customers and prospective ones but the market and employees. While aspiring leaders think they have to speak to show others they are capable, it's the opposite that will yield the desired result. “The answers to every question you might have about building a successful business will become clear if you learn to ask good questions and just listen,” said the executive.