A famous French aviator and author, Antoine de Saint Exupéry once wrote “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” As the quote depicts, it’s not just enough for a captain to be an idealizer, it is equally important to build a committed team which shares the same aspirations.
Business leaders are no diﬀerent than the ship captain. They must have an ability to inspire a great team of individuals who can relentlessly work to transform a leader’s vision into reality. One such example of an astonishing business persona and team leader is the Founder and CEO of TeligentIP, Greg Nielsen.
Headquartered in Texas, TeligentIP is one of the leading communication service providers around the world. The company has recently innovated some unique messaging and collaboration products. It oﬀers a wide-range of communication services, including enhanced Call Centers, hosted IP PBX, IP Trunking, and Skype for Businesses. As a trailblazer at TeligentIP, Greg Nielsen leads the innovation at the company by emphasizing the creation of a corporate environment where everyone from the smallest team member up to management wins.
Stepping into the Shoes of Great Legacy
Greg was fortunate to have been born into a family that spent their lives and sweat to be successful entrepreneurs. He mentions, “My dad was an entrepreneur, and I always remembered watching him as he carefully managed his business.” It was Greg’s father Ron who taught him and his brothers about some of the essential values to follow as an entrepreneur. Irrespective of whether they listened to his words or not, his father used to convey his thoughts while driving and watching TV. His father always encouraged Greg and his brothers to help him work on some of his projects. These memories instilled in Greg an intense need to try to live up to some of the values his father possessed.
Advancements that Nurtured the Interest
During his college days Greg was fascinated by telecommunications. He foresaw the sector to be relevant to almost every aspect of business. When the Telecom Act of 1996 was passed and opened up a booming industry of competitive communications companies. This further peaked Greg’s interest, and enticed him to try his hand in the emerging telecom arena. Consequently, he decided to dig in and learn as much as he could, and he started working with some of the best companies during that era.
Empowering Traits: Dedication and Resiliency
There is always some unforeseen obstacle that challenges an entrepreneur or CEO to the core. Sometimes an individual might feel lonely after making an uncompromising decision. It can feel as if while trailblazing, you’re chopping away the branches of an undiscovered jungle, and questions of self-doubt can emerge regarding the value of your existence and if you are even moving in the right direction. But according to Greg, commitment coupled with mental and emotional toughness is one of the essential qualities that help a leader to conquer these obstacles.
Perception of Innovation
Greg asserts, “I don’t think the challenge is as much about being innovative. You either are or you aren’t. The real challenge is in the perception of innovation because of all the noise in the marketplace.” By noise Greg means overuse of digital advertising and other marketing methods. According to him, such methods quickly make a splash and confuse the market with a ﬂashy product that doesn’t really have much depth or scalability. The “instageneration” is easily fooled into believing in such products at times. Thus, Greg mentions, the biggest challenge for true innovators is in piercing through all the digital and marketing noise to demonstrate and show the relevance of your innovation.
Focus on the Small Wins: Advice for Emerging Entrepreneurs
Greg is more than just an entrepreneur, he is an influential one. He advises other budding entrepreneurs to first focus on building small products or companies instead of chasing after an extensive development and engineering project, which can quickly consume signiﬁcant amount of time and money. Building a big company or project is a tiring process. It takes way too much time, always more than expected. It can lead to investor and employee exhaustion and ultimately starts to aﬀect product quality or it even becomes irrelevant by the time its completed. Hence, Greg recommends building a basic usable product first then building upon it step by step so that you can easily ensure that you are getting real-time feedback from the market and that it has the potential to sell.
According to Greg, the biggest key to success that will get you through roadblocks and challenges of running a company is who you work with. Throughout his time as an entrepreneur, he has worked with team members across the spectrum at various companies. Poor quality, incompatibility and lack of loyalty from team members will always lead to failure. His current co-founders and team members are like a strong family that challenges each other, but still love and respect one another despite differences. Thus, his advice for emerging entrepreneurs is to surround themselves with people who share common goals and will stick with each other through thick and thin.
Innovating Tools and Products to Stay Ahead of the Curve
There is a substantial change in the way millennials and our current generation communicates and collaborates. Greg’s company envisions cashing-in the opportunity and has already started innovating tools and products to continue staying ahead of the curve. Its new message and collaboration service is just the beginning.