In an interview with Insights Success, Gary Olson, CEO of GHO Group LLC shares his valuable insights from the experiences he gained in his entrepreneurial journey. Moreover, he broadly discusses the services offered by the company.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Gary and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of your background as a CEO.
While I was engaged launching a satellite transmission facility and part of the team launching the first video fiber network, I was asked to design a new shopping network. I used this opportunity to start my first company. We began designing and launching new satellite and television cable networks. In the early days of Internet, we designed the first live cable news network with a person doing real time on air research. As my company continued to grow and we received requests from visionaries starting television networks in countries that did not have commercial television, only state TV. We designed and launched the first commercial television in Trindad and sucessfully designed, built and launched new national television networks in Czech, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Building on that success, I built GHO Group a boutique consulting company that provides strategic guidance, technology design and project management in media and broadcast technology. Helping companies implement and adopt to computer based media from proprietary technology.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal to the target audience?
GHO has a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. This enables GHO to offer a large variety of services. These include but are not limited to designing new systems, project management, strategic guidance in technology decision making, budgeting, RFP development and technology adoption.
Describe some of the vital attributes that every CEO should possess.
Building a company is the same as building a team. As the CEO, you are leader, visionary, coach and deal maker. A good CEO understands their own strengths and surrounds themselves with strong competent people who can collaborate and work together. One of my favorite expressions is “I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know who to call!”
The term CEO or definition of a Chief Executive Officer has changed with start-ups and small businesses. My father was a business owner and had partners – no titles. Small and mid-size companies had presidents and vice presidents. Public corporations had CEO’s. Now every size business entity has a CEO.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle competition in the market?
By continuing to learn and explore new technologies and the application of new technologies. One example is the need to have cyber security in the media ecosystem. I am part of a security task force in the live sports technology industry. As machine learning deep learning and artificial intelligence are becoming familiar terms, it’s important to fully understand the technology and where it is applicable.
What were the primal challenges and roadblocks you faced during the initial phase of your career as a CEO?
It is always challenging finding the right talent that can collaborate and support each other. Being the CEO is a combination of knowing when to do and when to delegate. As the company grows, it is critical to allow people to do their jobs and support them. A good manager takes a step back, not micro manages, letting others learn and grow.
Where do you see yourself in the near future and what are your future goals?
I have been accused of re-inventing GHO and myself every few years. We are going thru a change phase now, moving into artificial intelligence and into a new industry sector of Public Safety and Security. I am in the process of building my next business as we are applying our extensive media knowledge to an industry overwhelmed by video and struggling to analyze it for useable information in the prevention of incidents and attacks.
What is your advice for budding and emerging CEO’s?
Recognizing strengths in people and encouraging and empowering their development creates a team to solve problems. A large organization is like a pyramid, if you are at the top you can see what’s happening across the organizations and manage. If the pyramid is upside down because the CEO is also doing everything, they are crushed by the weight of the organization.
I have an eclectic background and am one of the few people who always worked for myself building my own businesses in my professional career. My career has been spent solving interesting challenges that typically look outside of the box for innovative solutions. I am both a visionary and help visionaries realize their ideas.