Jamie Gerdsen is the dynamic, free thinking, and energetic CEO of Apollo Home Comfort. He’s innovated in a traditional industry where people often say, “You can’t do THAT!” and found incredible success in sticking to his vision, making adjustments consistently, and coping with the carnage along the way.
Through his business journey, Jamie committed himself to changing the culture of Apollo to fit his vision and through a decade of persistence, he was finally able to see it through. As a result, he’s managed to align his entire company along his strategic imperatives.
Relationships and Value
In his Paper Napkin Wisdom, Jamie shares a formula he discovered during his journey to realize his vision for Apollo. The formula is this: Relationships + Value = $ North or $ South. While working to shape Apollo into the vision he had for the company, Jamie found that the more investment they made in relationships, the higher the value and return the company experienced. He found this to be true in every aspect of the company; the more effort spent on the relationship, the better the return.
In addition to the formula, Jamie emphasizes the importance of understanding the Push/Pull dichotomy. When he began initially, Jamie thought he could push his people into production. He found that though he tried to lead by example, working insane hours and being always the first to come in and last to leave, pushing his employees wasn’t working. Employees were unhappy and the turnover rate was high. It was during this period that he started to see the value in relationships and when he began to let go and empower those around him, he found that they started to pull the business forward and growth began to happen much faster than before. To accomplish this, Jamie had to change everything about how he was leading his organization; it was a leap of faith.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
It’s a leap that Jamie feels a lot of entrepreneurs can’t make because they don’t understand the relationships needed and they fear failure, but Jamie didn’t have a choice; he had to make that leap. He couldn’t have moved forward without empowering those around him and though it wasn’t easy it lead them to where they are now. Jamie admits that if he could go back he’s not sure that he would do anything differently because what happened then is what got them to where they are now, but if he could give a 10 years younger version of himself advice he would say “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Listen to my conversation with Jamie here: