May 1st, 2009 Started a new chapter in my life; May 1st, 2015 starts another even more exciting chapter
This post was intended for yesterday but my elbow issue kept me tied up all day with doctors.
May 1st: 6 years ago today I began what I believed would be my last rodeo. I worked hard putting all my energy and heart into helping my new company grow. In 5 years and 11 months we more than doubled our revenue, shifted from losing money to having the three best years of revenue and profit in company history. We also created the strongest IT Staffing brand in our community where IT Staffing companies are a “Dime a Dozen” in Atlanta according to a Fortune 100 CIO I met with recently.
Businesses and life changes and my services were no longer needed. I will not go into detail because they know, I know and God knows what occurred. Although personally very painful for me to leave the company and the family we created together, I do not hate nor do I wish any ill will towards the company or anyone who works there. I want to publicly thank them for giving me an opportunity to serve our clients, our candidates and everyone on our great staff of really hard working dedicated people. It was the greatest experience of my 40 year work history. I know we will see each other often and I do wish all of them “limited” future success.
Ironically today, May 1st, 2015 I begin the next chapter of my career for another much larger staffing firm as their Chief Development Officer which is the only reason for wishing my former company “limited” future success.
(I believe if you can’t laugh; you can’t love or live at peace with those around you.”
Based on conversations I have had with a few of my former clients, they will soon be my new clients. Both Booth 61 with Ricky Steele and the Dell Digital Ball After-Party have a new Co-Sponsor. My new boss and I will also be meeting with Ben Hendrick and other Dell executives in Plano on May 13th. I will also be going to India in October to share my “Heart of Networking” presentation at a Dell conference.
I am not happy that this may be have a negative effect for my former company nor am I gloating about these early success stories because Psalm 136:6 teaches “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” No one needs His Grace on a daily basis more than me. What I am is grateful. Very grateful to have the opportunity to continue serving my dear friends in the technology community.
Furthermore, I believe that when the door at my former employer closed, The Giver of every good and perfect gift saw my need, heard your prayers and opened an even greater door for me. This is truly the most exciting opportunity I have had in my career. This company is well funded, has a great management team, strong brand recognition and they want to aggressively grow our business. We could become the largest IT staffing firm in Atlanta in the next 3 to 4 years. We will become the most recognized Brand name in the Atlanta IT Staffing community because we will passionately love our clients, our candidates and each other.
Thank you for your emails, phone calls, well wishes and most of all for your prayers over the past 30 days. I am in your debt. Although I never wanted this to happen, the outpouring of love and support since April 1st has been both very powerful and very humbling. I know that what at first seemed to be very harmful to me, God meant it for good. I continue to be blown away with His Amazing Grace.
The Big Reveal will take place next Saturday the 9th at the TechBridge Digital Ball in the Dell/??? After-Party.
47 years ago today at around 6:00pm a bullet ended the life of the world’s greatest Dreamer. Can you and I begin to imagine how much better this world would be today if Dr. King had been allowed another year or even 47 more years? The wisdom of an 86 year old Dr. King would be amazing. I wish I was living in that world but we are where we are. If we choose to live and share Dr. King’s message now, we will be doing our part to bring the beloved community one step closer to reality.
If you are younger than 47 years of age, you did not experience the impact Dr. King’s death had on our country. If you are under 35, you may not be aware of all of Dr. King’s writings, his legacy and all that he did to make this world a better place for all. If you live in Atlanta or visit Atlanta go to the King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church. You can also “Google” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and read for days and days. None of your days will be wasted.
A few of my favorite Dr. King quotes:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend”.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Because it has been almost two years since I last posted on my website, I think I need to change the name of this column to “Posts every now and again” or “Posts Not Likely”.
I am very active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. There is a Link on my website for you to follow me on each if you would like to keep up with me on a day to day basis. As a result of other social media, I have not been able to find the time to blog on a regular basis. Now that I have a little more time on my hands, I will do my best to be a bit more diligent.
The last few years I have been working as hard as I have during my entire career. It has been a lot of fun to watch my company over double in office staff, people on billing, in revenue and in profit during my tenure. The team became a part of my family and we shared a lot of love between our family/team. Without question, together we created the #1 brand in the IT Staffing Industry in Atlanta. As happens in business, companies change direction and owners decide that they want to rearrange their team. I was floored that it happened to me based on the success we have experienced together. Nonetheless, it was their decision to make and I have no regrets. In fact, I have a great deal of pride in knowing what I contributed over the past almost 6 years. I left with no restrictions on what I can do in the future costing me walk away money but it allowed me to keep all my options on the table. If I choose to remain in the IT Staffing industry, my former company and I will learn whether they made a sound business decision or not. Regardless of which way it plays out, I will not be bitter nor will I gloat because I am confident that my failure or success in business is in bigger hands than my own and for that I am eternally grateful.
My future is so bright I have to wear sunglasses. My phone has been ringing constantly with messages of cheer and kindness from my friends, clients and my colleagues at the former company. I am certain that God has a plan for my life as He does for each of His children. I have also thought about semi-retirement by writing another book and reigniting my speaking career. I don’t know exactly what my future holds but I am very confident in Who holds the future.
If I may be of service to you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (770) 951-8059 Home Office.
Saturday night, May 11, 2013 the Atlanta Technology Community gathers in a night of celebration and commitment. TechBridge is a 10+ year old organization that was created by the Atlanta Technology Community to help the Not For Profit Community be more effective in their mission. Today, TechBridge maintains the infrastructure of 45 nonprofits with 2,500 users and hosts websites and email for over 200 not for profits. These not for profit organizations serve over 5 MILLION men, women, and children every day. Think about that for just one minute. These dedicated organizations are changing and often saving lives each and every day. Because of the help they are receiving from TechBridge, they are able to focus on their mission of changing lives and saving people. They no longer have to worry about their servers, email, security, or the hundreds of other IT related issues that they are not equipped to manage nor do they want to manage.
Each year our industry celebrates being part of the community at The Digital Ball by raising over ONE MILLION DOLLARS that is used to provide the services I described. Although it would be impossible to list or describe all of the lives that have been changed due to TechBridge and The Digital Ball, you can learn more at http://www.techbridge.org/non-profit-services/client-list. Because of our technology community and the sponsorship dollars contributed by the service provider community and the corporate technology community, families are being fed though the Atlanta Community Food Bank, AIDS patients are being ministered to through AID Atlanta, community projects are being supplied with tools and expertise by the Atlanta Community Tool Bank, young girls in our community are being given encouragement and hope at Cool Girls, and temporary housing is being provided by The Task Force for the Homeless. These are just 5 examples of the over 200 organizations TechBridge serves. I encourage you to check out the list of every organization.
On behalf of the 5 million men, women, and children whose lives are being changed for the better because the not for profit organizations are able to serve them more effectively because of TechBridge, THANK YOU! These brothers and sisters of ours will never have the opportunity to personally thank TechBridge, Ed Steinike, CIO of The Coca-Cola Company and Lisa McVey, CIO of McKesson Technology Solutions who are the Co-Chairs of this year’s Digital Ball, the Host Committee of The Digital Ball, the Board of TechBridge, James Franklin/Carrie Bates Hastings or the entire TechBridge Staff. As a result, I humbly thank you on their behalf. You are HEROES to each of these folks and you should all be very proud of what you have accomplished.
Booth 61 will be broadcasting live from the reception from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on the 11th. If you are not able to join us in person, please listen to the stories of those who are doing great work in our city at Booth 61 with Ricky Steele.
If you were not able to be part of this year’s Digital Ball but still have a heart that wants to serve others, you can sponsor/contribute in many other ways financially and with your gift of time. Visit www.techbridge.org to learn more.
A number of people have asked me why I would spend so much time trying to win a competition that awards no prize. My reason is simple, I am not trying to win for a prize or win for my ego although some might question that last part. My reason for participating is to share all the great things happening in the technology community in the only state I have ever lived, Georgia.
The URL: http://ow.ly/iWMlC is for the 2013 State of the Technology Industry Report created by the Technology Association of Georgia. A lot of time, energy, and funding was involved in creating this report and it should be read by everyone interested in the Georgia Technology community. VC Funding, M&A Activity, Trends, New Company relocation and so much other important information can all be found in this report.
In a 140 character Twitter message you just can’t share the whole story. I hope in our excitement and hype to receive your Re-Tweets, you did not miss the focus for the tournament.
I am confident that a high percentage of you Re-Tweeted my post for no other reason than our friendship. For that I am grateful and very thankful. Heck, I am blessed!
I don’t know how many folks read the report or even knew there was a report: http://ow.ly/iWMlC. I created this blog post to put the focus on the report. Get excited about Georgia technology and discover #WhereGALeads.
PS: My next match is Tuesday, April 2nd at 12:00pm with one of Atlanta’s most exciting companies, AirWatch. I look forward to a spirited contest.
@rickysteele is Atlanta born and Georgia bred and I am passionate about my community.
For those of you who have not read The Heart of Networking Second Edition, you may not know that from 1996 to 2005 I lived in Booth 61 at the OK Cafe in Atlanta. I still visit often but not like I did during the Dot Com Mania Days. Booth 61 at the OK Cafe was the place I began each day Monday through Friday, and some Saturday’s to boot. My record rear-end challenging time spent in the booth was one day I arrived at the OK Cafe at 6:15 am and I left at 3:30 pm after breakfast, brunch, lunch, ice cream sundaes and enough coffee to float the Titanic. I had back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings introducing lawyers to young start-up companies, listening to bright eyed entrepreneurs share their business plans in hopes I would introduce them to one of Atlanta’s Angel Investors or one of Atlanta’s Venture Capitalists, meeting not for profit organizations looking to tap into the growing technology boom, or just connecting a potential employee to a company owner hoping that it would be a great fit for both of them.
During these exciting years I was a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers and later Client Partner at Korn/Ferry International. Very seldom did we spend a lot of time discussing accounting or executive search services during these meetings. We broke bread together and shared community. Real relationships were built between me and my guests, and between guests and other guests. Companies received funding, people found jobs, and service providers for the technology community gained clients. The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the Entrepreneurial Foundation of the Southeast were both nurtured in Booth 61 before being launched into our community. Did PwC and Korn/Ferry benefit? Certainly, but that was the by product and never the goal. Both companies hired me to build community and we did. Today I am blessed to have the very same responsibility at Hunter Technical Resources. Booth 61 is one of many commitments the owners of Hunter are making to the Atlanta Technology Community.
We will gather folks every Wednesday at 2:00 pm to build community in Booth 61 on Business RadioX. I am excited about our first show when we welcome Mr. James Franklin, CEO of TechBridge, along with Sig Mosley and Harriett Hollis of The Atlanta CEO Council.
I thank all of you for your friendship, support, encouragement and love over the past 18 years since I joined the Atlanta technology community. I hope you will join me in Booth 61 as we continue the process. The coffee is on me.
Since the publication of the Heart of Networking, Second Edition, it has been gratifying to read what others are saying about the book on Amazon. I wrote the books to share ideas I’ve had over the past 40 years. I tell people that I never intended to make money selling books (or through my speaking engagements) and so far, it has worked out great.
My book focuses on what I call the “Seven Habits of Highly Successful Networkers.” Due to my great respect for Mr. Stephen Covey, and my fear of an immediate law suit, my book was named The Heart of Networking instead. I focus on the concepts of servant leadership and Golden Rule living. Giving without expecting a pay back is crucial to being a true servant.
You can find my book at Amazon.com. I hope you will read my book and post your thoughts.
I may be the world’s worst blogger. I have something to say on a regular basis but I never seem to find the time to say it. This past week is a very good example. The Heart of Networking Second Edition debuted on Thursday, January 20th at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Innovation at King & Spalding Law Firm in midtown Atlanta. 150+ people attended and I shared for 45 minutes from the book. The response by email, on line, and by telephone has been very positive.
The new book contains every word that was in the first edition. The basics of networking shared in the first book are true and truth does not change. The additional 50 pages is filled with examples of how I use social networking to expand my reach. Social Networking will never replace one on one networking because most people enjoy interaction with other folks. I do believe that Social Networking enhances how man has networked all the way back to the caveman.
You can purchase the book at my website, www.rickysteele.net. You can purchase the Kindle version at http://tinyurl.com/4gb3z3p. I would love your feedback on my website or on Amazon.
2010 is a huge year in the life of Hunter Technical Resources. In early September, we passed our total sales from 2009 which was a tough year for everyone in technology. On October 8th, we surpassed our sales for 2008 and on Tuesday, October 26th we passed 2007, our previous best year. We are excited that every placement between now and December 31st, will set a new record.
Needless to say, this could never have been possible if not for a great group of clients. It is not really fair to call them clients because the majority of them have become our friends. We are grateful to all of them for allowing us to serve their IT Staffing and Recruiting needs.
This great accomplishment would also have been impossible if not for the talented and dedicated team here at Hunter. I have had the privilege to work for a number of great companies over the years as an employee and as an owner. Hunter employees are the hardest working, most focused group of people, from our four founders to our two newest recruiters, that I have ever experienced.
All in all, I am blessed to have the opportunity of working at Hunter and Good Lord willing; this will be my final rodeo.
Thank you for allowing me to brag on Hunter Technical Resources, our wonderful clients and my co-workers.
Last night I had the privilege of hearing Andy Young in a conversation with alumni of Leadership Atlanta. It was during my drive home that I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessed life I have been fortunate to live. Needless to say, there have been some really hard times in my life personally involving family crisis, financial issues, and heath among others. But in the context of what many people have endured, it has been manageable through my faith and my family.
Some of the great blessings I thought about last night was the opportunity I have had to meet so many wonderful people. Many of them have had a great impact on my life including my father, father in-law, Bill Turner, Bill Bolling, Rob Johnson, Robert Campbell, Allan DeNiro, Charlie Paparelli, Bob Lasher, and Mike Adkinson all quickly come to mind although there are certainly others. Then there are those who I have met and spent time with over the last 30 years who I am more a fan than a friend. At the top of that list is Ambassador Andrew Young and President Jimmy Carter. I wrote about both of them in my book, The Heart of Networking.
Last night, I heard Andy Young speak for at least the 25th time. Every time I hear Andy, I know that I am in a room with greatness. If you have not had the privilege of hearing Andy speak, I suggest you read his books or watch the new PBS series, Andy Young Presents, winner of 3 Emmy Awards. Listening to Andy Young is like sitting in a live history lesson of the last 50 years in Atlanta, the civil rights movement, and his world view. I first met Andy Young on the night of his inauguration as Mayor of Atlanta in 1981. I bought my first tuxedo for the occasion. Over the next 30 years, I have crossed paths with Andy many times. I was fortunate to travel with Andy and a delegation of Atlanta leaders on Atlanta Convention and Bureau promotional trips to Washington, New York, Chicago, and London. The London trip will always be a special memory because a few of us celebrated Andy’s birthday at a beautiful restaurant on the River Thames along with Andy’s mother who also was on the trip. During that trip, we visited a night club and while Andy danced with my wife, Beth, I danced with his bodyguard who was a striking and tall Atlanta policewoman.
I can not do justice to the legacy of Ambassador Young in this blog. Research Andy’s life and legacy on Andy’s website or on Wikipedia. . Andy has been a minister, civil rights leader, congressman, ambassador, mayor, Olympic organizer, business leader, husband, father, and mentor to many. During Andy’s mayoral term in Atlanta, he facilitated over 70 billion dollars of new private investment in our city. As everyone knows, Billy Payne, was the great visionary leader of the 1996 Olympics in our city. Those in the know, know that without Andy’s network across Africa and the Middle East, the 1996 Olympics would have been held in Athens, Greece.
Needless to say, the impact Andy Young has had on society at large is vast and historical. Personally, he has had a tremendous impact on me and I am grateful that our paths crossed 30 years ago.