You may have noticed that the culture at Vivid Image is, well a little bit “different”. For the past couple years, the Vivid Image staff has been very intentional about finding our true leadership gifts so that we can make the best team.
“Our culture is built on authenticity, where our work is truly an extension of our true selves. Being part of such a supportive team is what motivates me every day!” Heidi Arndt, Account Director at Vivid Image
The Back Story
The journey began when Steve Gasser, President of Vivid Image, learned about the GiANT program through two different friends in random conversations. Brandon Lee, a business coach in California, and Quentin Krengel, Steve’s friend from Hutchinson, had both attended Leadership Coaching and Training in Atlanta through GiANT Worldwide. Steve was inspired by how it has impacted them and later, Steve Gasser and Kori Sanders, the Operations Director at Vivid Image, also attended the training for a weekend a month for a year. After they graduated, Kori encouraged Steve to become a GiANT Consultant. She could see that he had a passion for helping reveal what makes people special, not just within Vivid Image, but others around him.
Leading Through Vivid Image First
So, you may be wondering why Steve would be putting time into being a GiANT Leadership Consultant, when he has a website and marketing business to run? When Steve started his path to become a GiANT Consultant, he had a vision of making an impact on the Vivid Image team and beyond. Steve pointed out, “The tools and knowledge that we have received from GiANT have helped build a bridge between us as agency, and our customers. We have always focused on relationships first, and now our team is equipped with all the tools to communicate better, especially with those who have opposite personalities and communication styles than us.” It is important to Steve that the Vivid Image team truly understands client needs and tendencies and how to compliment each other’s strengths on a team. “The more I got into GiANT, the more I realized how it fit perfectly with developing my team at Vivid Image. Finding really good marketing people is hard because of our breadth of service with social, print, SEO, and website design. Ideally, we want to become an outsourced marketing department for our customers, and fill in the gaps where they may lack the expertise or time.”
After sending a Vivid Image team through GiANT’s Xcelerate program and the entire staff through Transforming Team Communication, intentional time each month was spent over the past couple years refining Vivid Image Vision, Mission, and Values. Guided by Steve, the company was able to create a living document called the VI Constitution that lays out for staff and clients what they can expect each day from those they work with in terms of how we communicate, reinforce our culture, and let our values guide good business decisions.
Steve is busy helping other businesses transform their culture and communication too. “I was introduced to GiANT by Steve a few years ago. After that initial introduction, we moved to implement some of the ideas fairly quickly in to our system. The five voices and five gears were the two that made the biggest impact right away. The idea worked so well, that we decided to do a deeper dive into the programs and work on our teams. Every business can work on communication throughout the organization. As a family run organization, that communication can be heightened a bit. By going through Xcelerate, we were able to use the toolkit to layer throughout the organization. We are now taking several of our teams through Transforming Team Communications as we begin the next step of bringing this to the organization as a whole.” Roman Bloemke, CEO of Welcome Home Management Company
Voices & Tools for Success
The GiANT Leadership framework has given the Vivid Image team the tools and knowledge to determine the best use of our unique gifts and where to spend our time so we are leading effectively at home, in our communities, and at work with co-workers and clients. For the Vivid Image team, we started by taking the Meyers-Briggs personality test to find out where our strengths and tendencies were (some people changed their letters after further reflection). The next foundational piece is discovering each of our “Voices”. You can take the Five Voices and get your Meyers-Briggs in one test here.
Each of us have a leadership voice (Nurturer, Guardian, Creative, Connector, or Pioneer) and knowing what it is empowers us to lead effectively. At Vivid Image, we are all aware of each other’s personality types and voices so we can effectively communicate with each other. Many of the other tools are simple and practical but provide a lens to look at relationships, work, family, or ourselves. We have all learned how to communicate better with others, especially those with opposite personalities than ourselves. Now we have the VI Constitution to refer to at anytime.
Opportunities to Grow as a Leader
Steve has been working together with Mary Hodson and the Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce to create Leadership 2.0 Academy. The Hutch Chamber has been doing their own Leadership Training for a long time, but most of the Chamber’s Leadership Program’s focus is on the community circle of influence. The GiANT Leadership 2.0 Program focuses on the other circles of influence including self, family, team, company, as well as community. Steve explained, “What we wanted for Leadership 2.0 is to focus on self, and your personal tendencies and unique gifts from the inside out. The inside circles include yourself, but then working yourself outwards to affect your family, your team, and so forth.” Leadership 2.0 will be held in both Hutchinson and Litchfield, with a focus on the individual versus the team for 8 sessions. Some of the highlights will include discussions on using your voice, how to best use the 5 gears, building trust, a Meyers Briggs personality assessment, and self-awareness. Leadership 2.0 has prerequisites.
“Whether you ask me personally or professionally, the ideals and work of GiANT have transformed my daily processes. Having recently graduated from the first Leadership 2.0 class, I am grateful for the tools (literally a tool kit) and objective language which help me in every relationship. I appreciate this program as more than a personality tool, but also, the organizational tools to build a healthy and successful business. If all businesses went through GiANT training we would have a stronger workforce, vibrant onboarding, and more loyal employees across the board.” Mary Hodson, President, Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce