Spring Training

April 21, 2016 April B.

There have been some great posts to the Culture Blog recently by relatively new team members, which is so great to see! 

As a Daxko “veteran”of 16 years, I am still grateful for the career, the growth, and the new challenges that come with being part of the Daxko Nation. In the past year, I have had the great pleasure to work much more closely with our People Team. My greatest focus during that time has been collaborating on Team Lead development. As Daxko grows, we are shifting away from star performers who take on team lead responsibilities in addition to their work. In order to get to the next level, we need talented Team Leads who are passionate about developing high-performing, healthy teams. And that is their work. 

Team Lead work is not for everyone. Some people may think that being a Team Lead is a critical rung on the proverbial ladder of success. That’s not true. What makes us successful in our careers is that we love what we do, we are recognized for good work, and we are fairly compensated for the value we provide the company.  Many Daxko team members are absolute rock stars in their own right, and their career path will take them further down the path of expert software developer, major account sales, or critical account management. One of the worst mistakes Senior Leaders make is to take a rock star who loves what they do, and put them in charge of people, when their passion is the work, not the team. But for people who are gifted at the relational aspect of leadership, bringing together a high-performing team is probably the most rewarding work they’ll ever do. And every team member at Daxko, from those just starting out to those who are way down their rock star career path, will benefit from great leadership. 

On Tuesday, we spent an entire day off-site doing “Spring Training” for Daxko Team Leads. We focused on ways to develop a heightened sense of self awareness and social awareness. We broke into small groups and had lots of discussion on understanding our own emotional triggers, how to manage them, how to recognize them in others, and how to manage those. One of the most insightful take-aways from that session (thank you, Charlie Peters!) was that we need to take the time to respond, not react– and they are different. 

Our afternoon was filled with group work facilitated by Melva Tate. The topic was improving communication across teams. A few things became evident in that session: 

  • We all need to remember our responsibility as “Chief Communication Officer” for our teams.
  • We could use more clarity on which communication channels to use and when.
  • Clearer instructions need to be given on when and how to cascade information.
  • Communication skills like brevity, organization, focus, and action are lacking in some areas.
  • Some communication processes between teams need to be established (e.g. Infrastructure Team getting more lead time from Product).
  • Everyone would benefit from a more holistic view of Daxko and what different teams do, so we can better understand interdependencies.
  • Discussion about exercises involving multiple balls would make a great Kick-Off sketch! (you can thank me later) 

We have more work to do to come up with solves for our communication challenges, so more to come on that. If you are interested in being part of the communication solution, come see me any time! My “door” is always open.


April B. is Daxko’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. She enjoys historical fiction, foreign films, good food, and her career at Daxko.

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