The right mindset for leadership is a moving target. As you grow, you have to shift how you think. Over the last decade, I have worked with inspiring and successful leaders to help them evolve as leaders. The right mindset is the foundation that allows for new personal growth and company growth. Today’s guest is Brett Helgeson, President, CEO and Managing Partner at Adopt Technologies. Inc Magazine ranked his company #3264 on the 2020 Inc 5000 list and #2295 in 2019, and #2152 in 2018. Adopt Technologies is an industry leader in both cloud computing solutions and providing conventional IT services to a variety of businesses throughout various segmented industries. Brett and I talk about the right mindset that creates great teams. We look at the importance of EQ in leading others. The right mindset is a make-or-break thing as your company keeps growing.
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Brett Helgeson: The Transcript
About: Brett oversees and manages all business operations at Adopt Technologies.He is focused on the vision and strategy of the organization while working with his team to refine, implement and execute the business plan required to realize those long-term objectives.Prior to purchasing Adopt Technologies, Brett founded Helgeson Construction Management, which managed and executed over $56 million of commercial construction projects in the Phoenix metropolitan area.Brett volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors for the Beatitudes Campus and New Way Academy. He has a BS in Building Construction Technology from Purdue University and a MBA from Arizona State University.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
Brett Helgeson: For me, the foundation is, is truly focused on learning constant improvement, not, you know, leaving, leaving all egos aside and knowing that everybody in, whether it be a, a project or an organization or any situation really has the opportunity to bring some skills and insight that you may not yourself help. So, therefore, It really is the culmination of bringing everything together so that we collectively make the right decisions in any circumstance.
Intro: Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs, the fastest-growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?
Gene Hammett: Everyone knows that your ability to execute. We’ll determine if you have a successful business in the long term or not. Your ability to execute becomes the focus of most leaders. I know now what goes with execution to help you find that edge? It’s the right mindset, the right mindset, unlocks power inside you. Allows you to clearly identify who you are, where you’re going, and really removes the limitations that often plague us. And if we don’t continue to evolve that mindset, We will lose out. We will not see the opportunities that we need. The right mindset is the key to predictable growth. I work with a lot of amazing leaders today. Our special guest is the CEO of adopt technologies is Brett Helgeson. And Brett talks about the right mindset, why it’s so important. What really is involved in the right mindset. You will learn from Brett on how this really works. How he shows up how he serves, how he leads this entire company to where it has been on the Inc list three times. And probably for all this to be said, today’s interview is about the right mindset and about your evolution as a leader. Now, if you are really keen to be the best leader you can be, then you want to make sure you have a community of other leaders that you can learn from and discover what’s working for them and was not.
We have a fast-growth boardroom. If you are founder or CEO of a fast-growth company, maybe you’re on the Inc 5,000. Maybe you’re not, but you can actually join this. If you are a good fit and you want to be an extraordinary leader, all you have to do is go to fastgrowthboardroom.com. Check out the website there to give you some details over what we’re looking for, what we actually do, what we stand for. And we look forward to serving you. All you have to do is apply. And if you think you’re a fit for this, I’d love to get on the phone with you and have a conversation about what’s next for you. Fast growth boardroom is for leaders that want to be extraordinary leaders. They want to create a team of ownership and they want to increase the value of their company.
Just check out fastgrowthboardroom.com. Now here’s an interview with Brett.
Hi, Brett. How are you?
Brett Helgeson: Hey, I’m doing well, Gene. Thanks for having me on the show.
Gene Hammett: Excited to talk to you about your journey and about what has really made your company successful and you’re successful. And the team successful behind this, before we jump into that, tell us a little bit about Adopt Technologies.
Brett Helgeson: Well, Adopt Technologies is, is a, a managed it services burn with the focus on cloud computing. We have our own cloud platform, but our predominant focus is to really become the outsource IT partner and a true extension of our clients. , as their IT department, we focused on the small and medium-sized business community, offering everything from high-level CIO consultation, all the way down through the tactical nuts and bolts of supporting their users and computer systems.
Gene Hammett: Well, I love that approach because I think a lot of people, don’t have those skills. In-house and you, you providing an outsource version of that across your team, is that fair?
Brett Helgeson: Yep. And then a lot of cases too, it’s really great to work with internal IT teams as well. You know, where we just need to add a little horsepower, some skillsets they may not have in place. And, you know, the objective is always just building great partnerships that are aligned with, you know, serving the best interest of the client. So we’ve done a great job of that over the years.
Gene Hammett: So the company has been successful enough to make the Inc list, , your guys work to, to, , 2,295 last year. Is that right?
Brett Helgeson: I believe so. Yeah. Yeah. Third-year in a row going for four of this year,
Gene Hammett: I love the fact that you’re, you’re consistent with this. , what has been the contributing factor to keep you on the right edge and the right place with this company as it grows fast?
Brett Helgeson: You know, honestly, for us, it obviously all, I mean, a lot of people say this, but it’s so true. All of it starts with our team and the culture we’ve created and that’s just easily flows into doing a great job for our clients as well. You know, are a lot. Our mindsets as a leadership team are all revolve around our vision. And our vision is that we want to be a destination employer and a destination IT partner, and it’s not tied to numbers or anything. It’s more tied to building an environment and a culture. And so those visions, from our perspective, you know, you just have to do so many things right. To accomplish both that it’s all in alignment with what we want to do. It’s pretty interesting, but it, everything that we’ve done really focuses on culture and honesty and transparency, and everybody learning from one another and open-mindedness, and, and really from a partnership perspective, just developing a win-win relationship, right.
There’s gotta be a mutual gain for all parties involved in, in anything, whether it be an employment agreement or a new engagement with the clients or a project.
Gene Hammett: So Brett, my job is to help unpack some of that so that we, as those listening in can really understand and use this moving forward. So I appreciate you starting with your team. And we also know that it takes the right kind of mindset for the leader to be able to create that kind of team. When did you realize that mindset was so important?
Brett Helgeson: So, honestly, I grew up in the hospitality business. My parents owned a lodge and so day in day out, I served in different roles within that organization from a very young age, all the way up, but it was all focused on the guests and how, how you listened to them. You hear their concerns, you are proactive about resolving challenges. , you treat people with respect. You know, and you can communicate clearly. And obviously within that environment, especially with a lot of different, you know, individuals at all levels within the organization, many that, you know, maybe more just hourly workers versus more professional client-facing salary workers, the ability to really be able to meet everybody kind of at their own level and at the terms that are comfortable with. So kind of that emotional intelligence piece of it all, I really felt that early on. I was blessed to have that experience. Let’s just say that because it’s really shaped who I am as a leader today.
Gene Hammett: Yeah. Mindset is something, I think a lot of people know what it is, but they don’t really get to the core of it. So what is the core of mindset for you as a leader?
Brett Helgeson: I mean, obviously it’s kind of what, by definition, that’s the established set of attitudes, but really for me, the foundation is, is truly focused on learning constant improvement, not, you know, leaving. Leaving all egos aside and knowing that everybody in, whether he a, a project or an organization or any situation really has the opportunity to bring some skills and insight that you may not yourself. So, therefore it really is the culmination, of bringing everything together so that we collectively can make the right decisions in any circumstance.
Commentary: Now, Brett just talked about constant improvement. Are you really continuing everything you can on your own mindset, the processes of your company, and your ability to lead others? Well, constant improvement is something that will help you become an evolved modern leader. If you rest on the laurels of what you’ve been and where you’ve been and where you’ve come from, it really is hard to continue the kind of growth that you expect from yourself and your people constant improvement means you are looking for that edge. If you want the edge and leadership, make sure you check out the fast-growth boardroom. There’s some details on the website, but the real key here is you can hang out with others that are growing fast, as you are faster, and that will give you some insight into what it takes to constant improvement and being the best leader you can just check it out at fastgrowthboardroom.com. , back to Brett.
Gene Hammett: You brought in that, that small word that that packs such a punch ego. Have you ever let your ego get in the way, of you? Running the company the way you really want to.
Brett Helgeson: The only time my ego tends to get in the way is when I’m, I allow myself to get emotionally tied to a situation. You know, those are the situations where I find myself starting to dig my heels in a little bit in wanting to, and I start to become a little bit more closed-minded, and I really need to be conscientious of that and force myself out of that when, when I see that starting to take place because it completely clouds my judgment. You know, those are the times when I’ve made what I consider some poor decisions over the course of time.
Gene Hammett: Now, one of the things that is so powerful about mindset as a leader, You can’t really shift the mindset of others if you’re not willing to work on your own mindset. So if you thought about your journey as a leader of this company, and I know you’ve had other companies before this, how is it benefiting the overall development of the people in the organization for you to have a strong mindset?
Brett Helgeson: Well, especially as it relates, relates to this, that open-mind mindedness. Personal growth. Right? One thing that I always say to our team members is to try and put them at ease, you know, they understand that mistakes are absolutely acceptable. As long as we learn from them, we don’t duplicate them. And hopefully, they’re not too costly, but even when they are costly, you know, you know, we deal with them. But those conversations always. With me acknowledging areas of that. I have weaknesses that I try to find myself working on and push to improve. And when I do that, I’ve always found that it really just eases tensions. And, and we can all just get into that non-judgemental mindset and focus on how do we take that experience or address this challenge. And come out with the right solution for all parties involved.
Gene Hammett: I wanna zero in than something that I think will help our audience here and probably even allow you to communicate what you’re really trying to say in a more deep way, which is you talked about recognizing your own weaknesses, which is really being vulnerable at the right moments. have you found that to be a very good leadership kind of approach to be able to connect with your employees?
Brett Helgeson: It absolutely has. So the ability in order to actually get that personal connection, I think the vulnerability is really huge. I think at the same point in time, though, leaders need to be conscientious of when the right time is and isn’t to be vulnerable because there’s a lot of those situations where you truly need to take that very strong approach from the standpoint of this is the direction we need to go. This is how we need to go about it. But overall, whether it be honestly being my, in my personal life or my business life, one thing, you know, I always talk to tell people that I feel like my forties has been my best decade ever because I finally came to terms and accepted not only who I am, but what my strengths were, but what I liked, you know, don’t care about whatever others thing. And within both my personal and business relationships, one of the critical aspects for me to, to come to that is that I want to build, build deep relationships and being vulnerable to me is one of the easiest ways to develop a connection because it just automatically goes to the baseline of look, I’m a flawed individual.
There’s a lot of things. I don’t know. There’s a lot of mistakes I’ve made. And then the next thing, you know, people are opening up and sharing things with you that they won’t likely share with other people, because we’re all trying to put on our best image out there. Typically. And that, you know, that’s where I learned the most. And that’s where I honestly have developed the most beneficial relationships and deep connections with people, both personal business. And then it goes, employees, clients, everything, right. This is about us. How can we work together? And, it makes it a lot easier when you know who you’re dealing with at a pretty deep level.
Commentary: Hold on one more thing here, Brett, just talked about being vulnerable. Vulnerability is a very empowerful tool inside of our leadership toolbag. That tool is something that should be used with care. What I mean by that is you can be vulnerable and at the right time and place, it is very powerful to provide connection, show some examples of what you’re looking to do, and you can really be open and transparent with your people. Well, you can also take it too far when you are still struggling with things and you still haven’t worked them out. You haven’t really gone through the full transformation. You might not want to be as vulnerable about those topics because you want to make sure that you have the other side and you if you get into conversations that you have worked through, Those things that you are talking about being vulnerable about. Now, I say this because, you know, one of the things I’ve learned from being a professional speaker is we’re going to tell stories. And some of those stories will be personal stories. And if we bring up their, the pain of, of what we’re going through, and the current moment, sometimes it’s not fully baked, it’s not fully ready to be able to share the audience. Same thing with being vulnerable. Vulnerability is a power and an extra, it’s a superpower. If you ask me because it allows that connection and transparency that you don’t get anywhere else. And it allows for you to truly share a piece of yourself with others. Just be careful with that and really wants you to be aware that it is powerful, but you can’t take it too far. Now back to Brett.
Gene Hammett: I find a lot of entrepreneurs bring with us the struggle that we’ve had over the years to, to wherever we are today. And it’s really important to be able to understand those struggles and how they’ve shaped us. Have you been through struggles that have really shaped you and made you the confident courageous person you are today?
Brett Helgeson: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, you know, I, my wife and I talked about how some of the events that we’ve gone through in our marriage, you know, people that we know that, you know, seem to just have this, they haven’t had anything tragic, let’s say Halford in their lives or major, major roadblocks. There’s just a whole different level of appreciation and empathy that goes along with going through those experiences. So just a couple to add. My wife and I, you know, dealt with infertility challenges, actually thus the name adopts technologies, our children we’ve adopted them all. And that path opened up as a result of those challenges. But you know, everything that you go through on those sprints, we’ve lost some family members at a very young age.
We’ve wound down a business, you know, due to economic challenges. We’ve started, you know, we’ve got multiple years without a paycheck as we were building a business. And so a lot of those types of things over the course of time, it really fortifying kind of our resolve and willingness. For a lot on the line and, and roll the dice, which is what a lot of entrepreneurs do. Right.
Gene Hammett: I asked that question to set the table for this question because this is the real core of it. And I find that when people are really tuned into the mindset, they get this question. A lot of people believe that life happens to them. I actually happen to believe that life happens for you. The struggles that you’ve endured with your wife and the family, and even the businesses. Have shaped you into who you are today. Is that something you can kind of see on your own way of living?
Brett Helgeson: Oh yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. You know, it’s, it’s just an amazing thing when you have things that happen in life and obviously, we’ve all got no people that, you know, they, they automatically. Just go to the deep dark place where, you know, everything happens to them. And I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. And there are lessons to be learned in all of those situations. And if you do take a positive approach to that and just focus on how you ultimately come out of it stronger and better, that it changes the dynamic of everything. And so it’s all of those things that have post challenges, for sure that have helped create who I am today.
Gene Hammett: I want to get to the heart of what really drives growth for the company because it’s one thing to say that having a strong mindset, being constantly improving and learning and growing and being vulnerable drives, you know, you as an individual, but why do you think having a strong mindset as a leader drives the company forward?
Brett Helgeson: Well, I mean, certainly out of all those things, you still really have to have a promotion mindset as well. We need to be establishing goals. We have to have a strategy. We have to execute and we have to have accountability for sure. And, and so those are all on top of that foundation that we built as a result of kind of the growth and learning and ongoing improvement mindset. But, you know, w the growth of the company obviously is not going to take place if you don’t have a strong roadmap to get there. And, and you’re going out there and executing everything that we believe in, in part of that, obviously is making sure that we are adhering to all of our cultural norms and values. And that we just continue at it as well. Right? So continuing that, that thousand-mile March towards our end goal, obviously you’re going to have to deviate here and there is new information or challenges arise, but the bottom line, if you’ve got a sound strategy and continue to execute over time, you’re going to have success.
Gene Hammett: Well Brett, I really appreciate you sharing your journey of entrepreneurship and your thoughts on mindset as a leader.
Brett Helgeson: Well, thank you very much, and I appreciate your time as well. It’s nice to, nice to get to talk to you.
Gene Hammett: What I really want to put a spotlight on for you as you’re tuning in to this, and we’re wrapping up this interview is that you have to have a great idea for a business, but you have to also work on the mindset of the leader because you won’t have the team that you want, you won’t have the level of results and execution. If your mindset is not as sharp as it could be always be looking for where you’re evolving, where your weaknesses are, and that is how you keep sharp and able to be the kind of leader that your team deserves.
If you’re wanting to connect with other leaders that want to really grow their own businesses and other fast-growth companies, make sure you check out fastgrowthboardroom.com. It’s a place where a lot of communities and leaders are coming together to create the kind of place that they’re really growing from having a great mindset, but also the strategies to move forward.
Just check out fastgrowthboardroom.com. As always, when you think about leadership and you think about culture, think of Growth Think Tank lead with courage will see you next time.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
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