I love January. Sure, the gyms are crowded, but it’s also the one time of year that people don’t look at me funny when, out of the blue, I start rambling about goals and action plans. (Yes, I set New Year’s resolutions, and I have an accountability partner! Those numbers on her marker board may or may not be my weight and body fat percentage…)
There are so many readily available books, blog posts, and workshops aimed to help people set and reach goals. Today, I thought I’d share one piece of advice that has inspired my goal setting, as well as an exciting goal that LeaseTeam achieved in 2015.
The best goal setting tip I read recently is to define your compelling and emotional reason why. When I look back on 2015, I know the goals I didn’t meet were the ones that didn’t move me. I intended to maintain a running habit. I told myself I should be a little healthier, but that didn’t speak to my soul. What I forgot was that I want to run because I love to run. I enjoy watching the morning sun glisten on the Missouri River while my brindle mutt jogs in rhythm at my left side. If you’ve set some personal goals, I invite you to ask yourself, “What’s my compelling and emotional reason why?”
Here at LeaseTeam, we set annual goals at the company and department level. In 2015, our Technical Services team accomplished an impressive department goal: 99.9% ASP uptime. I talked with Dan Powers, our Director of Technical Services as LeaseTeam, to learn more about this achievement and how we got there.
First, what does 99.9% ASP uptime mean? ASP stands for Application Service Provider and refers to the hosting services we provide. Uptime is a common industry metric that measures effectiveness; it shows the percent of time that services are available. The metric of 99.9% equates to a mere ten hours of downtime per year.
LeaseTeam has been providing hosting services for 13 years. When Dan joined the company four and a half years ago, it hosted about 20 customers, and uptime wasn’t being measured. We’re now serving 88 customers across all LeaseTeam products and have been laying the foundation to support this level of customer service for many years.
I realized soon after entering Dan’s office that he loves computer networking. To help me understand the drastic improvements that have been made to the infrastructure, he jumped up from his chair, marker in hand, and covered his whiteboard in diagrams and charts. He told me about SAN with a redundant switching network, load balancing, firewalls and $50,000 switches. He told me about our dozens of servers and hundreds of virtual machines, our secondary Internet provider and multiple IP addresses. I don’t have to understand the magic those machines are using to see that it’s working. In Dan’s words, “It’s pretty bad ass.”
Dan attributes our success to his talented team of IT professionals. I wondered about their compelling reason why. There’s a joke in IT that everyone wants to be a “lazy admin”. It’s a theoretic state where your systems are running so smoothly that instead of fighting production issues, you can relax… though in reality, it is the opportunity to advance to the next level of excellence. You could say that Dan and his team want to reach this state of calm. No doubt another powerful driver was the LeaseTeam culture. We are a customer service organization, first and foremost; it’s not just something our co-founder, Randy Haug, says. Given an opportunity to reach a level of customer service this company has never seen before? You bet we’ll get ‘er done!
Welcome to the new year. I wish you well in your personal and professional goals!