Reid Smith-Vaniz

Don’t we all want to make a difference, create an impact, and live out a significant purpose? Simon Senek has given a great Ted talk in which he explains what he calls the Golden Circle. The basic idea is that we are all desperately seeking to link the “why” with the “what” and the “how” of what we do. If you have not watched the video, I highly recommend it. It’s powerful, and it is shaping my thoughts about who we are and what we can become.

Most people are highly skilled at explaining what they do, and how they do it—but not why. The best communicators explain the why first—something I am always trying to get better at. Here is a quick picture from Simon's book:

The Golden Circle
Personally, I know I often get hung up on the what:

     • The features
     • The benefits
     • The specs
     • The configuration
     • The software
     • The size
     • The capacity

These are all good things, but ultimately, I think the approach is wrong. In fact, it may be what is causing IT as a whole to experience such a disconnect from “the business,”.  Ultimately if the business wants to get and keep more customers, IT can make a tremendous impact, IF it can connect its activities towards this and improving company culture.

I have toyed around with this idea for a long time, along with thinking about purpose.

Questions like:
     • What is the purpose of Reliant, and how can we articulate it clearly?
     • What resonates with our team, our culture, our customers and me?
     • What will transcend time and be a guidepost for what we do and believe in?

At first, I thought it was to enrich lives: to make life better for our customers and team. Then I thought it was empowering others to make a difference. Then I read a great book by David Marquet called Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders If you haven’t already read it, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

The author basically makes the point that empowerment is one-sided. You and I already have power—it just has to be released. I don’t have power to give to you—that is one-sided, and follows a broken approach. We are all leaders and game-changers, in some way.

That struck me. I know it’s simple, but I believe the real purpose of Reliant is to make a difference.

That’s it.

If we can help people, in some way, to make a difference (that’s the why), make a decision, or to move the ball forward, we’ve succeeded.

As a company, we just happen to find individuals who manage storage infrastructure and are short on time, cash, performance, and space (that’s the how), and show them ways to solve those problems with used storage equipment and support (the what).

In the end, I think we’re making a difference in lots of small ways, and teaching our team about entrepreneurship, business, customer service, and creativity in the process.

We are making a difference—and our customers are, too. I aim to capture the stories of our customers and friends in the IT world who are doing the same, and share them so that they, in turn, can realize an exponential ability to create a difference for others.

How do you feel like you are making a difference? E-mail me, and let’s talk. I’d love to share your story.
Reid@reliant-technology.com