Another week, another veteran coach! We are certainly blessed to have so much talent and experience coming to the team! While Brad is fairly new to ConnectStrat, he certainly is not new to our industry and many of you may know him from his 10 years as an executive facilitator at HTG (now Evolve) and his contributions to the industry. I had a chance to sit down with Brad and get to know him a bit more:
Tell me a little bit about your personal life. Where were you born? School? Family?
I was born in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I have lived in the Chicago area except for the four years I attended the University of Iowa. I wanted to get a Marketing degree and my dad insisted I get an Accounting Degree. After the usual father son back and forth I decided to get the accounting decree. It wasn’t easy but having the accounting knowledge has served me well over the years. I also received a Minor in Management Information Systems which helped me land my first job, more on that later.
My wife and I are from the same hometown and are happily married and have an extended family that includes two daughters, their spouses and three amazing grandkids. Grandkids are the only thing in life that is not overrated.
My wife is Greek, and we got married in the Greek Orthodox Church. Being part of the Greek community in Chicago has been a blessing. I know where all the good food is.
How about your early business life? Where did you get started?
My first job was cutting lawns in the summer during high school, I like to say I learned the value of recurring revenue early in my career. My first job after college was as a Business Analyst for a big Chicago bank. In my 5 years there I learned to build relationships and saw BIG DATA from the inside.
My career started before the Personal Computer arrived on the scene. My brother and I started a business to help small businesses implement Accounting Systems (thanks Dad) on Mini-Computers. That business evolved over the years to include implementing Local Area Networks and custom software development. Always focused on helping business improve their processes.
It was a great 35 year run with several combinations and a couple of successful exits.
How did your passion for coaching, teaching, and facilitating start?
I have always enjoyed being part of peer groups and business communities. It seemed like I was always the one with my hand in the air to help with the agenda and facilitate the meetings. Almost all my close business relationships came from these communities.
One such relationship is with Arlin Sorensen from HTG Peer Groups (Now ConnectWise). When we connected at a COMPTIA event in Chicago he gave me the opportunity to help develop the online version of their Peer Groups. That meeting has led to an almost 10-year Encore Career facilitating meetings and working with hundreds of successful IT Service Businesses.
Tell me more about your experience in that regard. Where have you focused your work since you began coaching?
Facilitating and Coaching has been both challenging and rewarding. Having a framework or toolset to help lead people on a path to define their vision and help execute is the key. Not everyone follows the proven process but those that do certainly see outsized results. I have used several frameworks over the years and the ConnectStrat one really is complete and fills in some of the gaps and ambiguity found in some of the others.
Finally, bringing it back to the personal side, what do are you passionate about outside of work? What do you do to balance?
I am involved in a few community projects including Habitat for Humanity and being a SCORE mentor working with local businesses through the Small Business Administration.
My family is where I get lots of joy outside of work. Watching our kids develop careers and build family homes is quite rewarding. If they only listened to us more. In addition, I love to play golf, travel, and take pictures.