When I started The Network Support Company in my home in 1996, I didn’t set out to build the most technically sophisticated tech company, or the biggest tech company, or even the most profitable tech company. I started this company – 20 years ago this month – because I wanted to experiment with the concept that good people can finish first. As a generally recognized “nice guy,” the dismissive “nice guys finish last” platitude always bothered me. So, to test this, I knew I had to infuse the values of caring for others and integrity into the very foundation of my company and make it apparent in everything we did or said.
Simply stated, I started The Network Support Company because the places where I’d worked earlier in my career didn’t represent what I valued. From my perspective, they didn’t care enough about their clients or their employees and they were too willing to compromise ethical standards for personal benefit. I believed that, rather than focusing on the outward signs of success, if we simply focused on doing the right things and treating people the right way, then sophistication, growth, and financial success would naturally follow.
What I discovered is that when you are passionate about:
- helping people become the best version of themselves
- treating people with respect and dignity
- viewing the mistakes people make with understanding and as a learning opportunity
- building trust by being transparent and honest in word and action
… then, they, in turn, become passionate about making the business the best it can be, too. They are more willing to take risks, to innovate, to work harder, to care more for others and to selflessly help their co-workers and clients. We also have high esteem for the value of humor, so, if you spend any time in our offices, you’ll hear laughter popping up all over as a constant celebration of our shared humanity, because, let’s face it, people are funny.
These are the hallmarks of the company we’ve built. But none of this matters, really, without integrity. Integrity is essential to building the trust and security people need to be fully transparent, vulnerable and engaged. As someone deeply committed to God, I greatly admire and follow the precepts given in Colossians 3:12, which encourages us to “clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” I believe that these can – and should – be our guiding principles in the business world, too.
Over the years, we’ve built a company where clients are:
- Viewed as the lifeblood of our existence
- Diligently and happily serviced
- Afforded great transparency within our partnership
- Treated with radical honesty and integrity
Similarly, our employees are:
- Valued, appreciated and given opportunities to speak into our business strategies
- Supported in their own personal and professional growth and development
- Treated with dignity and respect and inspired to succeed
- Encouraged to work hard and have fun
So today, in the month of our 20th anniversary, if you ask our employees what it’s like to work at The Network Support Company, I think they’ll tell you that it’s a unique place, where they are nurtured, encouraged, challenged, supported, and treated like family. As it turns out, nice guys can do pretty well; in our 20 years, we’ve experienced gratifying growth and success.