The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. —Theodore Roosevelt
As the above quote suggests, sometimes the best leaders aren’t always at the forefront of every campaign or even in the office every day! And that’s sort of how it is with our own CEO here at Anderson, Ted Tietge. I recently sat down with Ted to learn more about the Porsche-driving, blue-jean-wearing CEO to glean his insight on where he sees Anderson heading in the coming year, and to learn what makes him the most proud when he considers the successful company he has reared from the ground up.
Q: If you had to choose one word to describe Anderson, what would it be?
A: Engaged. This place is all about teamwork, hands-on approaches and can-do attitudes. I am always impressed with the way Anderson employees flourish in this environment. If you think about it, this is a high-stress industry. People are here because they enjoy it and in one way or another, feed off that kind of energy.
Q: What are the things you are most proud of when you contemplate Anderson’s success?
A: I am most proud about our corporate culture. It feels to me like everyone understands that this is a really good place to be. I think of this place like a fire. It started out as kindling, grew slowly, and then at some point the fire started sustaining itself. I’m also very proud of the way I’ve seen our leaders grow under Randy (Dale’s) leadership and coaching. Anderson is a well-oiled machine.
Q: Around here we always say it’s the people that make this place great. But what type of people do we have here and what characteristics do they have that make them great employees?
A: Integrity, commitment, can-do attitudes. People really buy into the spirit of this place. I also value the fact that our makeup is linear in nature—if someone has a really great idea, it can virtually be implemented overnight.
Q: As a businessman and CEO, what are core values you cannot part with?
A: Integrity and honesty. It’s something that I had early on in my career, even as a young professional working in the wine business. If a customer came in thirty minutes before closing time, and I was about ready to clean up shop, you know what I did? I sold him the wine. I’ve also never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them an honest answer. You have to be able to do that if you want to run a reputable operation.
Q: What is the vision you have for our company over the next year?
A: Well, it all starts with incorporating the new business we’ve acquired and keeping that level of acquisition going. We also need to see where the world of direct marketing is going to go! We’ve got a lot of good things brewing here and I’m so pleased at the way our Interactive department has taken off. Anderson is like an organism, it’s totally organic. I’m hopeful for the coming year and excited to see what role the youth will have in taking Anderson to the next level in the future.
Q: Finish the sentence. “Hello, I am Ted Tietge, CEO and owner of Anderson Direct Marketing. When I’m not strategizing and ensuring the wellbeing of our company and our clients’ success, you can find me…
A: On the tennis court or traveling!
Q: When you come to work and walk through the office, you undoubtedly see new faces from time to time as we grow and expand our resources. What would you like newer employees (and even new clients we’ve onboarded) to know about where we’ve come from? What is this place all about?
A: Integrity and good corporate citizenship—that’s what it really all boils down to.