Image of Brian Hill, co-founder and chief revenue officer, and COO Nicholas Scarsella, both of Imperium Data.
Brian Hill, co-founder and chief revenue officer, and Nicholas Scarsella, co-founder and COO, both of Imperium Data. — Imperium Data

Brian Hill knows it takes a village to run a successful company.

As the co-founder and chief revenue officer of business IT solutions provider Imperium Data, Hill prioritizes company culture, coworker collaboration and delegation to a stellar team. This focus on team and culture led to Imperium Data winning CO–’s 2021 Dream Big Emerging Business Award, in addition to the 2020 Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Startup Small Business of the Year – all within their first few years in business.

[Learn more about the 2022 Dream Big Awards, and enter your business by July 8 for a chance to win $25,000!]

“Imperium Data would not be where it is today without the people [who] have fueled its growth since day one,” Hill said. “Their trust, belief, and resilience have been mission-critical to our success so far and imperative to our continued growth.”

Trust, said Hill, has been a core ingredient to this success.

“The ability to help those who trust you as a leader to reach their full potential as a professional is a transcending leadership trait,” he explained.

Below, Hill shares his experiences as a leader and how building trust with and among his team – the Imperium Data “village” – has helped the company grow and thrive in such a short period of time.

[Read more: 6 Things Every Boss Should Do to Build an Amazing Company Culture]

Build a strong company culture on ‘fundamentals’

Fostering a community was one of Hill’s biggest priorities when he began growing the Imperium Data team. Hill and his co-founder, Nicholas Scarsella, developed 26 fundamentals for the team to follow.

“These actionable items are much more than core values like ‘trust’ or ‘integrity,’” he said. “While both of those values are necessary, we have been able to foster a true sense of community, culture and entrepreneurial spirit [with fundamentals like], ‘Insisting on Higher Standards,’ ‘Training to Replace,’ and being ‘Relentless About Improvement.’”

Establishing fundamentals leaves little room for interpretation for the Imperium Data team. They know what to expect of each other and, when in doubt, can use the fundamentals as a guiding principle.

“The fundamentals have been more than important, and I can confidently say we would not be where we are today without the sense of community they have helped cultivate,” Hill told CO–.

The ability to help those who trust you as a leader to reach their full potential as a professional is a transcending leadership trait.

Brian Hill, co-founder and chief revenue officer, Imperium Data

Think big, but leave your ego out of it

A good company culture keeps the team focused on the success of the business rather than themselves. When workers have a shared interest in achieving a common goal, they’re less competitive and self-involved.

“We’ve learned that we must continue to think big while also continuing to check our egos at the door,” said Hill.

The team at Imperium Data learned when a person doesn’t tie their identity to their work, the personal expectations they place on themselves no longer bound them. Work can flow more efficiently and teams can solve conflicts with more ease, Hill said.

[Read more: Roadmap for Rebuilding: Mastering Leadership Skills]

Practice ‘blameless’ problem-solving

Hill knows mistakes and issues appear in any team, no matter how talented or well-run. Blaming other people for problems accomplishes nothing but creates tension and hurt feelings. Focusing on the problem and how it affects the workflow, instead of zeroing in on who caused or discovered the situation, involves everyone in finding a better solution.

“We’ve made many mistakes,” Hill admitted. “But by practicing blameless problem-solving, we’ve not only been able to overcome setbacks, but move forward and get better because of them.”

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Published May 12, 2022