By most standards, Dialsmith is a small operation. There’s no multi-tiered management tree; no executive only offsites; no formal employee manuals. But while we’re not big on formality and office procedures, Dialsmith does have something in common with the Apple’s, Nike’s and Intel’s of the business world. Dialsmith has a code–a rulebook of sorts–that keeps us doing what we’re doing the way we want to do it. The Dialsmith Code was developed by our founder/CEO David Paull but it’s not a stretch to say that these concepts could’ve come from any of our Dialsmith team.
Recently, we worked with one of our skilled designers to visualize the Dialsmith Code in poster form. We’ve found that the posters, now hanging in a couple of prime locations around the office, help keep us grounded and are nice reminders that how we do what we do is as important as what we do.
In an attempt to “crack” the Dialsmith Code, we sat down for a short Q&A with Dialsmith CEO and Code Creator David Paull.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the Dialsmith Code?
DP: It’s really been in the making my whole career, but never put on paper. There are certain tenets that I’ve always lived by professionally and as we’ve built Dialsmith it was important that those got “baked in.” Actually, going through the process of writing the Dialsmith Code for print forced us to distill down what’s most important to the success of our company and clients.
Q: What’s the common theme that you feel resonates throughout the Code?
DP: It all comes down to accountability and doing good work. Helping others (both internally and externally); doing work we can be proud of and that’s truly helpful in getting wins for our clients; and delivering on what’s promised—again and again.
Q: How does this Code help define Dialsmith?
DP: It defines us as a company that strives to be helpful and deliver solutions, not simply a company that tries to sell products. We all know that the products and services we offer are a means to an end. It’s all about the challenges our clients have and how we can help. We start with the challenge and work back from there. We do our best to listen more than we talk, be open-minded, and not presume to have all the answers right away. We find that when we’re as open as possible, all kind of creative solutions present themselves.
Q: Can you give an example of how the Code has impacted the work you’ve done for clients or decisions you’ve made about the business?
DP: I’ve been in sales, in one way or another, my whole career. What I learned through excellent training early on is to slow down and listen. I’ve closed a lot of business over the years by allowing our clients to talk about their needs and how they see our solutions helping them. It’s much more impactful for them to get there themselves than for us to tell them. Slowing down is key because we’re all excited by what we do and want to get it all out there as loud and fast as possible. But, a deep breath and knowing when to be quiet are key skills to master. I’ve also found that the most successful periods of my career were when I was less focused on my own success and more focused on the success of others. I’m a true believer in “what goes around, comes around” and my first-hand experience has proven that focusing more on others than yourself will yield big dividends to you in return. And, in the end, just be nice. It sounds simple, but it always amazes me how caught-up we can get in our busy days and forget to just be nice to people. Take an extra moment to show interest and do someone a solid for no reason. Sometimes it registers and sometimes it may not, but it sure makes everything better in the long run.