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Four Qualities Every Great Leader Must Have

Four Qualities Every Great Leader Must Have

Confession: It’s our CEO’s birthday and we actually, for real, think he is the best boss any of us have ever had.  This is his birthday gift from us.  Happy Birthday, Randy! Thank you for being our dedicated, humble, and caring leader who dares to dream on behalf of all of us.

Randy 36x24BirthdayPoster v01 300x200 Four Qualities Every Great Leader Must Have

As a digital agency, we are experts in many different fields: from custom web applications and content strategy to SEO and custom websites, we do everything (and then some) for our clients.  Truly, the talent that Taylor Digital has is sometimes hard to comprehend.  Given a conference room, our team, and a whiteboard, we may be able to save the world.

But what makes Taylor Digital truly unique, is the culture.  We are immersed in a work environment that is based on connectivity, excellence, personal growth, and humility.  Our team isn’t just a team, but a strong unit of people who rely on one another for success and growth.  This didn’t just develop out of thin air.  It took deliberate processes and vision for a specific type of team and culture.  The person who did the heavy lifting? Our fearless and creative leader, Randy Taylor.

We know that this culture is unique.  In fact, many of us experienced a period of disbelief akin to the Twilight Zone when compared to past experiences.   But, it’s made all the difference.  It’s a running joke around the office that Randy has ruined all leaders for us, and no one of could ever work anywhere else.

But we believe everyone should have the joy of working for a company like ours, and ultimately under the direction of a leader like Randy.  To this end, we’ve put together a list of qualities we think every leader should have.  These aren’t just a random list of ideals, these are taken from first-hand experience of working with Randy Taylor:

1.  Dedicated

If the ship is ever sinking, a true leader is the last one on the boat.  Why?  Because a dedicated leader’s interest doesn’t just lie in making sure the ship doesn’t sink, but instead on making sure his people are taken care of first.  A dedicated leader understands that the best measure of success in a company is the measurement of how his people have grown along the way. When a leader is dedicated to his people, his people are dedicated to the cause.

I don’t feel like “just an employee” because we have an owner that cares about the development of more than just his agency. He cares about my personal-professional growth, whether it’s for here or for the future. And he has said that if I can take what I learn here with me, wherever I go next, he has done his job. Stuff like that doesn’t make you want to leave though, it makes you want to grow and contribute to where you are. He has a true authenticity to him as a person and is completely honest and willing to share about any plans he has for the agency. I think he chooses to share more than other owners because he truly cares about everyone’s opinions. -Priscilla, Content and Social Strategist

Randy took me on as an intern when he had no logical reason to do so – he gave me a chance when no one else would. He’s the reason I get to do what I love every day. From day one, he has been incredibly supportive of my growth not just as a developer, but as a person. The chance he took on me changed the course of my life forever, and I’m so grateful that I get to work with this amazing person every day.” – Kristen, Developer

Randy has never once treated me as an employee, but rather a key member of his team to actually get things done. He values constructive feedback never once turns away from wanting to do things better. His ability to listen to and care about my life and happenings make working with Randy fun and exciting. He values everyone at the company and has a vested interest in being completely open with all members of staff. I cannot for a minute think about working elsewhere. Randy is absolutely one of the best people I know, an incredible mentor, and friend. – Kaustav, Lead Developer

What sets Randy Taylor apart from almost everyone I know are two things: his intense loyalty to others and his relentless optimism in the goodness of others. During lean times he sacrificed immensely to keep the team together when it would have been easier and more expedient to lay some of the team off. Instead, he persevered and came up with creative solutions that carried us through those rough times to where we are now. To Randy, we aren’t just employees; we are family to him.

I have been with the company for nearly 7 years, and I have never seen him be anything but polite and humble to our clients while exuding confidence and passion in the work we do at Taylor Digital. He has a truly impressive grasp and understanding of how the internet works, but has never lorded it over anyone. He reminds us from time to time that “Taylor Digital” wasn’t a name designed to promote him personally, but was the placeholder text in his searched for a better company name (which he never found). When I had my first interview with him way back in 2010, he told me something that has stuck with me to this day. He said “you can teach programming; you can’t teach character.” He sees the person first, the programmer/marketer/manager second.

There are few people I respect in this world more than Randy, a sentiment shared by many of his friends, of which I am proud to be one. I’ve worked at multiple jobs where the leaders weren’t burdened by a sense of integrity or honesty, and I am extremely grateful to work for someone I have so much respect for in Randy Taylor. – Nick, SEO Strategist

2.  Humble

A humble leader is not concerned with who is right, but what is right.  A leader who is humble is quick to listen, slow to speak, and even quicker to apologize.  He is willing to learn new things, and to ask for the input of others.  A humble leader trusts those around him, believing in their abilities because he does not think he is the best and brightest in the room.  At their very best, a humble leader is eager to train up anyone who is willing to surpass him in all that he has accomplished.

Randy is very good at listening to others and is willing to think about things from someone else’s point of view. He never assumes he knows more than someone else. – Dustin, Lead Developer

Randy helps me become the best version of myself. Since the day I started at Taylor Digital, he has given me a platform and said “go, be all that you can be.” He has given me the freedom to explore, make mistakes, make adjustments, try new things and most of all to succeed.

Randy is one of the kindest people I’ve ever known and definitely the kindest boss I’ve ever worked for. He shows care and concern in his wise counsel and his willingness to listen – to everyone he encounters. And he is not just a man of words, he is a man of action who lives out his faith and his beliefs.

Randy is a humble leader, always willing to offer a helping hand or provide assistance where he sees a need – and ready to be challenged if someone on the team sees a better way of doing things. He sets high standards, but walks alongside anyone willing to to strive for greatness both personally and professionally.

The only problem is that Randy is just one person. We all want more of what he has to give. So the saying, God broke the mold when He created Randy truly applies. But then again, that’s what makes Randy and Taylor Digital so special – there is no one and no place like them.” – Lisa, Director of Business Development

From my first interview with Randy I knew he was a leader unlike most others. He is unique in that he is genuinely interested and invested in my growth personally and professionally. He cares about fostering a team culture built on trust and mutual respect for one another, valuing all of our ideas and opinions. As a relatively new comer to the development world I was astounded by the amount of trust he had in me and my abilities. A leader like that doesn’t make you feel pressured to be perfect at your job or fearful of making a mistake. Rather, it drives you to be the best that you can be, understanding that mistakes only make you better. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to work alongside this team with such an unprecedented leader. -Carlie, Developer

3.  Caring

Most leaders care about something: success, title, or money.  While there is nothing wrong with caring about these things, leaders worth following care first about their people.  While having a business that is profitable often depends on success, title or money, leaders who are caring and kind care about these things as secondary to the relationships they form along the way.  At the end of one’s career, a great leader will count the people he knows and the lives he impacted, not the money in his wallet.

Randy takes his team and treats us like a family.  He makes listening to his team and their circumstances (both professional and personal) a top priority.   His empathy is unparalleled as he genuinely seeks to understand what life is like in someone else’s shoes, and because of that he never gives up on anyone.  In my 5 years of working for Taylor Digital, I have been through a whole lot, but Randy has supported me as a boss, mentor, and friend every step of the way. – Bonnie, Director of Content Marketing

Randy cares. More than anything he cares, about everyone and everything he is involved with. Having worked with/for him for around 9 years now, I have seen nothing to contradict the statement that Randy genuinely wants the best for each individual that works here. It is a beautiful thing to be able to not have to wake up every morning and worry about “disappointing my boss” and being subsequently fired. I know that if I screw up, Randy will work with me to resolve the situation and then ensure it doesn’t happen again.

I am who I am and have the skills I have in large part thanks to Randy. He has always pushed me to grow as fast as I’m able. He has always encouraged me to push myself and he’s been there to support me whenever I’ve stumbled.

I was in a bad place a few years ago after my divorce and really struggled at work for a while. Randy helped me get through that. He took time out of his day and out of his life, away from his wife and kids, to help me pick myself back up. He kept me employed, despite my feeling that I was no longer good enough to be here, because he believed that I still had more to offer and that holding onto me would be a better decision in the long run.

Everyday I work towards proving him right. He instills in the people he works with the desire to perform our best.

That same level of care and attention he has shown towards me he shows towards not only our whole team, but our clients as well. It’s something I’ve always tried (and often failed) to emulate. His ability to care deeply about every project we have.

That caring comes through in his communication with clients as well. I’ve always been amazed at Randy’s ability to effectively communicate with clients and even more impressively, his ability to (seemingly) effortlessly defuse heated situations.

Beyond his almost superhuman ability to care, Randy is also an amazing advocate of self improvement. Not just in others, but in himself. He puts self improvement as one of his top priorities, he makes the time for it, despite having a wife, 3 kids, and running a company Randy makes the time to constantly better himself. He reads, learns, grows, and then shares that new knowledge with those around him.

He brings that drive to be better into the company, constantly pushing our team goals and expectations. Always striving for more, and encouraging each of us to be more than we were before, every day. Since the company was started we have had built into our business model time for people to spend on self-improvement. Most do not take advantage of it, but it’s there, always has been. Even when things are tough and times were hard. To me, that speaks volumes of Randy’s firm belief in the power and value of self-improvement. He genuinely wants us all to be constantly growing and so enables us to do that as much as he can.

To put it simply, Randy betters the lives of those around him. He is a great leader because he cares about everyone and everything around him and is constantly encouraging and supporting those same people and clients to be better and do better than they had ever done so before. And it never comes off as “pushy” or forced.

Randy is an amazing role model. He is my role model. – Adam, Senior Developer

“Although I have just started here, I could tell on that first phone interview with randy that this is a guy who really wants to connect with people and listen. I always feel like he cares about what he does and he cares about us as individuals, not simply as assets to the company.” –  Taylor, Developer

“I just have 2 words that says it all for me. Genuine and kind, or as we say it in cheer, REAL and kind.” – Allan, Senior Developer

“He is very generous and kindhearted.”  Christina, Accounting Assistant

4. Dreamer

Dreamers are the movers and the shakers; the people who make the impossible, possible. Dreamers are the ones who don’t settle for the status quo, and who believes that the world is good and people are kind.  Dreamers who are also leaders are the best type of dreamer because they hold big dreams, encouragement and support not only for themselves and their business but also for their people.  The standard they hold themselves to, they also hold to those around them.  In turn, they create more people who are out to make the world a better place.

“I wait for the moments when there is spark in his eye about the possibilities of tomorrow.” Trent, Lead Developer

“When I first met Randy and heard him talk about the agency and his passion for the team I knew Taylor Digital would be a rare place to work at. His integrity and dedication to people makes him an excellent leader. I am excited to come to work everyday and be surrounded by smart people and have a boss who truly trusts his team. He knows when it’s time to work hard and when it is time to be playful. I respect the balance he has brought to the agency and the culture he has developed.”  – Brooke, Strategy and Marketing Account Executive

“Randy is an amazing leader truly cares about his employees and is always inspiring us to be good at what we do. His integrity and big heart are amazing and keep us all together. I always feel like I am learning from him.” Cindy, Lead Developer

Have a great story about Randy and the awesome human he is?  Share it on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to wish him a Happy Birthday!

Randy TaylorFour Qualities Every Great Leader Must Have