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Company Profile: Agile Studios

February 24, 2017

I never wanted to be in management.

I know it sounds odd. And those who have worked for me might find it surprising, but I actively avoided management roles. I worked for the first 15 years of my career in an individual contributor role. When I started at Agile Studios, it was as a Customer Relationships specialist. My role was to work directly with the customers for our small developer shop. I didn’t have to sell, but I needed to meet with clients and provide them our finished results. I also met with them to gather requirements.

It was a great job. I was pretty good at it. And then the company president decided to shake up his management team. We had a really big project that would eventually spin off as RESMARK. In the mean time, Brent wanted to make other changes and he wanted me to take on a management role. . .he just wasn’t sure what to call it.

Well, Brent, you have two choices. You can call yourself CEO and make me the president. That’s actually the model that WordPerfect used early on. Or, you can remain the president and make me the Executive Vice President.

We both agreed that CEO was a bit too large a title for a little ten person development shop. So, I became the Executive Vice President. I was now responsible for meeting with customers, but also for hiring, firing, coaching, spending, accounts receivable, purchasing. . .you name it and if it wasn’t programming or selling, it was my responsibility.

I now found myself in the very position that I had actively avoided for years. And a strange thing happened; two strange things, actually. The first was that I liked it. Lots of people like being in charge. So, that wasn’t surprising. I could make decisions and then see them through. Sometimes I made the right decision. Sometimes I didn’t and had to correct. But, the second thing was that I found I was good at it. I made far fewer errors than good decisions. We continued to grow as a company and when it was time to spin-off RESMARK, Brent tapped me to become the president of the new company.

I’ve had management roles throughout the rest of my career. I continue to enjoy them, and I continue to have success. If it hadn’t been for a small start up in Orem, UT that needed a “designated grownup” I might have never pursued some of the most rewarding positions of my career.

Company: Agile Studies
Titles: Customer Replationship Manager, Executive Vice President
Years: 2004-2005
Best thing: Figuring out how to be an effective manager
Worst thing: That time our client didn’t pay and I had to tell 10 people they weren’t getting paid

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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