Paul Harris: A Fervent Salesperson Exemplifying Creative Leadership

It is the development of a relationship and the satisfaction of a project reaching a successful conclusion that drives Paul Harris to be avidly involved in sales. Paul is one of the Founders of Aurora Multimedia and also serves as the CEO for the last 20 years. He has an engineering background and hence enjoys inventing. He’s been creative since his teenage years and that creativity led him to oversee the company’s innovative products with responsibility. He oversees the product development and global sales of the company.

A Dominant Force in the Audio Visual Industry 

Aurora Multimedia products incorporate state-of- the-art technologies that surpass typical specifications and features. The company provides solutions for a variety of global markets, including government, education, security, hospitality, corporate, house of worship and more. They manufacture products in their own facility in Morganville, New Jersey. Having an in-house production line gives them the flexibility to customize and innovate efficiently with better control over the manufacturing/quality process, and the ability to customize to meet end-user demands.

According to Paul, the key to provide diversified solutions is to listen to what the integrators, end users, and consultants want in order to solve common complaints. In turn, he asks questions and bounces ideas and cumulates reactions so that one can achieve a great brainstorming session from it. Everyone wins as they get the products they have been seeking at a reasonable cost and Aurora, in turn, stays well ahead of the competition with the latest innovations for years to come.

With Passion comes Adversities 

Aurora started with two people working from home, no investors, and all out of pocket. Paul says, “It is important to have a good working relationship if business partners are involved. I am fortunate to have a great partner, Mike Twerdak, COO.” Aurora is a privately held company and the growth of the company was done the hard way. While it seemed slow and often painful, in the beginning is when one learns the most. As a small company, Aurora had to learn everything which made it a stronger company and Paul has a better appreciation for what everyone does inside the company. Now that Aurora has grown, Paul does not forget his roots. Some of his best memories were back during his periods of struggle. Back then he, along with his team members, wore many hats and even today he keeps some of those hats on to keep his finger on the pulse of the company.

Inventing products has always been Harris’ main passion but with that passion, comes pain followed by failures. There are different reasons that are not always evident. Some failures were because the product was too ahead of its time for the AV market to adopt. Other times, it did not meet the expectations of the customers. Paul says, “I really learn my lessons; it is not just from my company’s success or failures, but learning about other mistakes in projects and to try to avoid what others have experienced. Why find out the hard way when there is plenty of material out there to reveal the success or consequences of a company and/or CEO?” 

Leading by Setting an Example 

Aurora is one of the leaders in the pro AV industry. Aurora has demonstrated that it can have the most technologically advanced products on the market. In the past few years, Aurora has introduced products that are changing the industry for the better. Aurora has made an impact the competition cannot ignore and many have copied the technology to stay relevant.

Aurora has started to be more involved in the standardization committees to exhibit to the AV industry, “We do not just take, but we give back and want to make a difference,” Paul said.

Paul adds, “The change has already started by the best form of flattery which our largest competition is comparing their products against ours and trying to keep up with us.” As that happens, it is Aurora’s responsibility to lead by example and show that many companies can play in this market and if played well, everyone wins. It does not have to be a cut-throat world in business.

Shedding Light on Forthcoming Entrepreneurs 

According to Paul, patience and adaptability are the attributes that every CEO should possess in order to survive the ever changing way the world does business. The CEO is ultimately who bares the responsibility for all good and not so good times. In his opinion, those who do not look to the future will quickly be left behind, thus he advises to stay educated and on top of trends in the industry as there is always competition.

With a view of enlightening the emerging entrepreneurs Paul asserts, “Be original and not another “me too” product. We have too many of the same products and while competition can be good to keep pricing in check, it’s not worth sacrificing innovation.

Source: The 30 Most Innovative CEOs to Watch in 2018

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