Interview with Dave Leusink, CEO (Part 2)

For our Computronix employee interviews, we sit down with people from all levels of our company and ask them about their jobs, and what it’s like working for Computronix.

This is Part 2 of an interview series. Please read Part 1 first

There are many ways in which Computronix is not a typical company, some of which are obvious, others much less so. One simple, subtle thing you might notice if you walk around either of the two offices is that there are no titles displayed on anyone’s desk or office door. Staff members’ business cards are also devoid of job titles or position. That’s an intentional choice based on the role leadership plays within Computronix. Simply put, “the focus of leaders is that you’re there to serve clients and serve the teams in the organization. Not ‘you have this lofty role, and everyone’s supposed to be serving you,’” as Dave explains.

One might think that the most important factor for a business to consider would be the quality of its product, or the ability to make a profit, or perhaps providing the best quality of service. According to Dave though, “hiring is the most important decision that we make.” Further emphasizing that point, he asserts that “for us to be world-class we have to have people in each role that are gifted at their jobs, and are excited and energized about them.”

Sometimes that means that the person’s role within the company may have to change as they and the management team above them learn and discover the person’s strengths, aptitudes and abilities. In Dave’s mind, a job at Computronix isn’t just a static position, “it’s a discovery process, and so we don’t desire to pigeonhole anyone, but really to have a working relationship with our people… they’re not locked into a specific area. It’s about caring for people and their growth.”

It’s interesting to note that despite the many changes that have taken place at Computronix during Dave’s relatively short tenure as CEO; including moving the office’s location, hiring dozens of new staff, and acquiring several new clients, there are some things that have definitely not changed. He names two of the core aspects of the company that have remained constant throughout his time in leadership: the central values and the passion for research and development. Regarding the values, he firmly stated that “when we talk about how people matter, it’s not a slogan or something written on the wall, it’s just a central belief that people have value, and that they deserve to be treated with respect. That has not changed since the beginning, and I believe it at my core. It will not change while I’m around. I think if we ever lost that, we’d lose what makes Computronix special.”

Whereas values can be lived out by every employee, research and development is generally carried out by a specific department. However, there is no R&D team listed on the organization chart, so where does that emphasis come from? A few places, Dave says. First off, “various people are directly involved in research and development, but they’re also involved in projects.” Secondly, “a lot of the research and development is done inside of project teams, across the company,” meaning that employees are given the freedom, when faced with a difficult problem that we have not solved before, to create a unique solution.

Problem solving is something that is talked about a lot at Computronix. Employees seem to not only find solutions, but they actively seek out problems to solve. The reason for this is simple: “we care deeply and we like challenges, so problem-solving comes naturally,” according to Dave. The company mindset isn’t to see challenges as obstacles, but rather as “a really exciting opportunity…to figure out how you’re going to solve the problem.” One could even say that problems are seen as opportunities that allow the company to progress.

Asked about his goals as Computronix makes forward progress, Dave takes a moment to think, “Basically, the goal is: in whatever we’re doing, we have to stay sustainable. We want to create sustainable, healthy growth. We see enormous market opportunity for our products and we want to take advantage of that, but only at the rate where we’re not burning people out, and the rate that we’re able to find the right new people. That leads us to explore other opportunities for service delivery and more product improvements and so on.” Pondering his answer for a second, he adds a final comment. “It’s not about a specific revenue or size goal. It’s about our journey as a company.”