The Clarient Group
Charlie Buscarino is the owner of The Clarient Group, technology consultants based in New York City. After nine years, Charlie realized that to take his business to the next level, he would need to learn new skills. A sole business owner with- out a mentor, he was frustrated that he might be destined to learn the hard way—through a long, drawn-out process of success and failures. He looked at other successful businesses and saw that they had a structure and a level of discipline that he and his small firm didn’t possess. He decided to hire a coach (Chris Seelbach of Calder Associates) to help him come up with a strategy and structure for growth.
Chris helped Charlie to understand the importance of mentoring and empowering his staff. Engineers like Charlie are, by their nature, extremely detail-oriented and controlling. He decided his role would be “keeper of vision and standards” and new business development. Most everything else would be delegated to his staff. Charlie’s main focus would be to “have a great team and give them the tools to do a great job.” Initially, Charlie feared that his staff would push back on the additional responsibility. Instead, his team’s reaction was, “It’s about time!”
Charlie now sets the vision and tone for his firm and relies on his team to tell him when they need him to roll up his sleeves. With the additional visibility and accountability he’s added (with the help of his coach), he hasn’t needed to be a traffic cop. Everyone on his team has “stepped up” and taken ownership. For example, he recently received an un- solicited e-mail from a team member focused on ways they can take their business to the next level.
He’s careful to say, however, that hiring good people was a prerequisite to him being able to make this shift. His philosophy is, “Have a great team and give them the tools to do a great job.”
Charlie’s shift in focus, empowering his team to have greater impact, has produced strong results:
- Revenues doubled twice over the span of three years;
- Team morale has skyrocketed;
- His team is focused on helping him bring additionally quality people into the firm (without him asking!);
- Commitment to service and quality has increased and become their differentiator;
- Clients love his staff and don’t miss Charlie; and
- Charlie now also has more free time to focus on new business and his personal goals.