A sound leadership takes a strong vision, and a winner’s attitude to achieve business goals. One such instance of leadership is Reid Lappin, the Founder and CEO of Vokal . Through Vokal, Reid is redefining the expectations of value mobile can create with his ingenuity and determination.
There was a severe growth of mobile app development that led Reid’s decision of starting one of the first mobile-only development agencies straight out of college. His role in the company is twofold which includes hiring the best people, and make sure they deliver their best contributions as possible for its clients.
Delivering Pre-eminent Digital Experiences
Vokal is an industry-leading digital experience agency specializing in mobile application development, responsive website development, user experience design, and branding in an interconnected world.
The most vital aspect of the firm is that it works with its clients to uncover business opportunities through the lens of digital. Vokal believes, the key to making this happen is employing real empathy with clients. The company listens more than it talks, and it works early with its clients to help them envision what their products will look and feel like. In addition, it outlines the business opportunities that are available to them which they might have not realized.
A Competitive Advantage
Initially, hiring noble engineering talent in a competitive hiring market was a great challenge for Vokal. Since mobile technology was still growing, the company found it next to impossible to hire seasoned developers. To fix this issue, it started a coding boot-camp where it helped non-programmers learn how to build mobile apps in a shortened school format. It hired the best programmers from each class, and this resulted as a big competitive advantage for the company in the market.
As the market matured, number of application developers increased, but the quality of talent declined. Reid was always interested in meeting talented people. He along with his company spent lot of their time finding great engineers and designers.
Staying Ahead of the Game
There was a time when Vokal signed its first million dollar a year revenue client, and it realized it was the validation which is required to stay ahead in the market. It gave the company the confidence to keep hiring the best people, and to not think small.
Since Reid started the company in 2009, he observed how the market shifted fast from just building mobile apps to building beautiful web, mobile and IoT products that drive business value. Reid mentions, Although, Vokal was initially slow to respond the market trend it was able to catch up quickly once it prioritized the trend. This experience reinforced the firm to always be nimble, and not to be afraid to make bets on where one sees the market going. Reid adds, “When we walk into our clients offices, they expect us to not only know what the latest technologies are, but how we can help their business through the use of technology.”
As the founder of an agency, and often the number one salesperson, for Reid, it has been always humbling experience when an individual doesn’t win projects that he/she put a lot of time. These losses always have a lesson learned baked into them. It was never different for Reid. He used these losses to understand the drawbacks of his company and what it can do better as a company to not lose these in the future. He believes such incidents keeps the company on its toes, and forces it to be ahead of everyone else.
A Digital Future
Vokal sees itself as visionaries of the digital world. It has helped countless number of clients uncover opportunities that they weren’t able to identify previously, and lead the execution of these opportunities. It sees itself not only as a strong product development partner, but also desires to help its clients visualize business opportunities that can be done through digital.
Setting Leadership Benchmarks
According to Reid, vision, grit, and positivity are the three vital attributes every CEO should possess. Every CEO needs a strong vision that defines what the company’s approach is, and provide clarity to its team and clients. Reid claims that a vision that isn’t understood by anyone but a CEO itself isn’t a vision, that’s called a dream.
Reid believes that an individual is going to experience ups and downs in life. However, the person has to see the forest through the trees and believe in what he/she is building. One should start accepting that some days are going to be better than others.
Reid has witnessed that CEO’s have a great outlook on their business and life. According to him it’s easy to get bogged down with being a CEO, but being able to wake up every day with a smile and a positive outlook for the day is a vital attribute to have.
Leadership is always been judged when it comes to fixing problems. Hence, to enlighten the emerging leaders, Reid asserts, “Do it for the right reasons. Believe in your product and don’t stop until you get it right. You’re going to make mistakes along the way, and you should work on admitting your mistakes and fixing them fast before the problem gets too big for you to handle. Be humble, admit your mistakes and do it better the next time.”