2015 A Look Back

2015: A Look Back

I always like this time of year. From a personal point of view, it is a time to reconnect with family and friends and enjoy the traditions of the season. I also seem to do less running/fitness and more eating and drinking! This is fine by me, at least for a few weeks!

From a business point of view, it always holds such promise and anticipation. We are planning our next 12 months. I enjoy the strategic discussions about how we are going to move the needle in regards to design recruiting. We have some very cool things coming in 2016!

It is also time to reflect on the past 12 months. What was a hit, what was a miss, what made us laugh, and what we would like to forget. With that in mind, I thought I would wish everyone a Happy New Year with some of my thoughts on where we have been and what it taught us.

To start, I need to make clear, without hyperbole, that I have learned more about success in business over these past 12 months than I have since I started in my basement in February of 2009. I have learned to own the things I do well and enjoy and delegate the rest. I have learned that defining a process is key to growth of any kind, and I have learned that culture eats strategy for lunch!


Culture eats strategy for lunch. DBI defines this as the right team, in the right role, with the right goals.

The right team. This is paramount! As a recruiter I know how important the right people are to the overall success of a company. In practice I will admit it took some trial and error to define the right profile and then find the right people for the profile. At DBI, the right profile is someone who is professional, fun-loving, and passionate. If these three things are found in a candidate, I know they can be successful at DBI.


Delegation is also a learned skill for my personality type. Having started on my own my natural tendency is to do it all, even if you are doing some of it. I made a deliberate decision to delegate in 2015 and I will never look back. Of course legal and accounting are off my plate. Me controlling those would be a disaster. Where I have learned the benefits of delegation is with my team. One example is training. Before I would create, or organized, training for the team. Recently I have been giving my team a topic and then ask them to create the training. This has been a huge success! Not only does my team take total ownership of the topic, they learn it in a way I could never train!


Process is the last big success of 2015. Start with the “what”, we develop a process to get there. What is important? What will help us grow? What do we want to be next year? The process, real measurable steps with accountability, is the way we get these questions answered. For example: what is important? It is important for the firm to expand in China. To do that we need to start here… then here… etc.

Of course, 2015 was much more than this but Zach tells me that a blog with more than 600 words is a white paper. Yes, we have a blog process. See, it’s already working!

Best of the season to all of you. Happy New Year.