N America News May 2017

24 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / MAY 2017 , Scott embellishes on the number of challenges he has experienced throughout his career, and divides them three phases. “In the first, when I served as a U.S. Army officer in a rapid deployment unit assigned in the Middle East, I developed my leadership skills by managing teams of 75 soldiers and non- commissioned officers and over $20 million in vehicles and equipment. As a young infantry officer, my job was to assess and build teams, create detailed strategic and tactical plans, and react to ever-changing conditions on the ground. In this phase of my career, I learned how to identify and groom talent and make split-second decisions with a limited, imperfect set of facts. I still use these skills today, even if the decisions are not made quite as fast! “In the second phase of my career, I worked in private practice developing my skills as an attorney. I am fortunate to have trained with elite lawyers at international firms in a variety of practice areas. These attorneys taught me how to try cases, depose witnesses, negotiate deals, draft commercial agreements, etc. But most importantly, working at these law firms taught me to listen to clients and help them solve problems. This is the most critical aspect of my current role, and I am grateful for the time I spent with each of those attorneys. “I developed my business acumen in the third phase, working in a variety of sectors such as oil & gas, clean energy, insurance and now, back in legal services Over the years, I have found that the most successful professional services companies are those with the highest concentrations of commercial savvy throughout the organization. In other words, the more employees who understand business financials, the more likely it is that decisions will be made in the best economic interest of the company.” Scott believes this business savvy must be paired with a focus on culture, ethics, and expectations. “We must empower our employees, but also set clear expectations around acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Creating the right culture is essential in the services sector in order to develop and get the best out of our people. We spend a lot of time working on culture at GCG in order to attract and retain top talent. Equally essential is an attention to detail, execution, and customer service. At GCG, we train our employees in planning, listening, and problem-solving, so they can provide superior service to our clients.” Scott was recently awarded the title of Lawyer of the Year - New York. He believes that the key attributes he possesses to make him award-winning include the ability to get the best out of people. “I learned as a young platoon leader that one person cannot do it all, and that the most successful teams are those that develop and groom talent. Good leaders delegate, but great leaders delegate, follow-up, coach, and provide opportunities for those that work for them. I believe in succession planning at all levels of the organization and have always been thrilled when my top performers move on to new roles and new challenges. It is fantastic to see people thrive and to know that you helped boost their career trajectory upward by a few degrees.” Developing a great company also requires modelling the right behavior. Employees constantly observe their leadership to see how they react and how they handle pressure. Living up to your corporate values, maintaining an even keel, and treating people consistently and fairly are so important to developing the right corporate culture. “Trust must be earned by hard work, leading by example, and by showing your employees that you respect them,” Scott states. “Being tough or demanding is fine, but you must be fair. Nobody ever earned respect through fear or arbitrary favoritism. The Golden Rule is still one of the best yardsticks we have to measure ourselves.” With regards to the future, Scott tells us that it is a very exciting time for GCG as the company went through a change in management at the end of 2015, which saw Scott become part of the new executive team for the last 15 months. He also talks about the future. “Throughout 2016, we restructured the business, revised policies, implemented new governance controls, created employee development plans, and worked diligently at changing the corporate culture. In 2017 we expanded into Canada, are moving into Europe, and have developed new government, business process outsourcing, and food/product recall service lines. Our backlog is strong, our client retention numbers are solid, our win percentages are rising, and our employee satisfaction scores are at all-time highs. “While the scale of change at GCG has been massive, this past year was by all accounts a resoundingly successful year and we are supremely confident about our future. We continue to improve our already high levels of client service and are making significant investments in technology to further drive operational efficiencies, data management, and reporting services for our clients. Finally, we are active in the mergers & acquisition space, looking for the right partnerships to drive future growth. I am looking forward to the next five years here at GCG as we continue to deliver against our five-year strategic plan. We are looking forward to the coming years!”

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