For Swiftpage, helping small businesses grow, the myopic focus for the maker of customer acquisition and retention software, boils down to not only believing in the mission but living it.
That's a philosophy that the Denver, Colorado-based company’s Chief Executive H. John Oechsle has subscribed to and it has served him well over the years.
Under his charge, Swiftpage has been able to create a highly productive and collaborative work environment which Oechsle said can be traced back to its vision. “Our vision, what we are striving to be, is for the world to know us as the number one small business solution – everything we do can be tied back to our purpose and vision, our journey,” the CEO said in a recent interview with The Saas Report. “On our journey, we are guided by our Living the Exclamation values – with the first one being ‘Work is fun with a purpose.’ We have created a culture based around the concept of ‘One Team . . . One Journey.’”
Oechsle credits his management style to his childhood days when he was involved in sports at an early age. That enabled him to develop leadership skills that still carry him today. They include having a vision and being able to tell the company’s story, credibility which means being able to demonstrate you have “been there, done that” and having the right team that possesses the qualities or strengths that you may be lacking. After all, as Oechsle puts it: “you’re only as strong as your weakest team member.”
The leader of Swiftpage since July of 2012, Oechsle said communication is the key to getting the most out of his staff, which includes an executive leadership team with experience working with all sizes business from the smallest to the largest companies in the Fortune 100 and employees that are located across the globe. “You get the most out of your people (called “Swifties” here at Swiftpage) by communicating, frequently and transparently. To do this, I practice an open door policy and hold monthly and quarterly business reviews to ensure the team remains aligned and on top of their goals,” he said. What’s more, bi-monthly meetings including all the employees is also mandatory. At those meetings, the entire company amasses on WebEx to get real-time metrics on how it's doing and to reaffirm its goals, purpose, and vision. “ Engaged employees equals delighted customers, which in turn equals profitable growth and ultimately creates shareholder value,” said Oechsle.
In order to be a successful CEO, Oechsle says leaders need to be able to clearly articulate the vision and need to possess the ability to paint a picture or tell a story that resonates with the market he or she is trying to address. It also has to come from the heart or others will quickly see through it. “Storytelling is an important skill that every aspiring tech CEO should possess. CEO’s must attack the business of building a narrative and storytelling as they do everything – with courage, tenacity, and passion,” he said.