Scaling Up Magazine Scaling Up Magazine April 2018 - Page 14

14 ANDY BAILEY SPRING 2018 Effecting Change Through the Rockefeller Habits WITH ANDY BAILEY AS A senior in college, Andy Bailey led a double life. On the surface, he was just another college student, but back in his dorm room at Middle Tennessee State University, he was also earning a high income as a salesperson in the electronic communications business. Bailey spent the early part of his career in that very same industry, launching his first company—NationLink Wireless—in 1993. The company first operated in the pager space, growing its subscriber base to 35,000 and then eventually switched to new technologies, such as two-way radio, wireless and cellular. In 2004, Bailey happened to meet Verne Harnish, Gazelles CEO and founder, at a business workshop—a chance encounter that would have a profound impact on him and become the foundation of a major professional and personal transformation. Harnish shared with Bailey the concept of what later became Harnish’s bestselling book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits— named for the business principles of John D. Rockefeller as portrayed in the biographical book Titan. The Rockefeller Habits help facilitate growth for rapidly growing businesses, known as “gazelles.” They include picking a narrow set of priorities; establishing a regular communication rhythm; systematizing data; identifying key chokepoints; and focusing on a well-defined short- and long-term plan. The Rockefeller Habits have since evolved into the Scaling Up system for growing a company. Bailey implemented the Rockefeller Habits over the course of nearly three years at NationLink to put it on a secure growth track. One key was getting the right people in place to support the firm’s growth. By making sure he had the right people in place to handle business operations that were bogging him down, Bailey was able to focus on his strength: sales and marketing.