A measure of success

For Matt Coltharp, passion is
an important part of being a leader.

And the president of The
Cyril-Scott Co. makes sure he
shows his passion in his work
every day, because he never
knows when he may be meeting
someone for the first time.

Coltharp says that passion is
contagious, and you need to
have people around you who
share it with you so that they
can share it with others.

“Passion gives me a quick
measure on if somebody wants
to be successful or not,” he
says. “If I’m passionate in
insinuating the positive all the
time, then the people who
report to me will be in the same
mode constantly.”

Coltharp’s passion for the job
has helped him lead his 260
employees at the commercial
printing company — which also
supplies creative and direct mail
services — to 2007 revenue of
$40 million.

Smart Business spoke with
Coltharp about how to find
people who share your passion
and how to use that passion to
help your company prosper.

Put the right people in place. You
need to make sure you have
the right people in the right
place. Sometimes people don’t
have the right people in the
right place; you don’t have
someone who can reflect your
leadership style, your level of
enthusiasm and your energy
and passion level.

There’s nothing worse than a
roadblock, and if you’ve got
the wrong people in the wrong
place, that tends to equate to a
lot of roadblocks in your
organization, which is tough to
communicate your message.

It starts with a positive attitude. You’ve got to be positive,
you’ve got to think positive
and act positive, and positive
things are going to happen. It
all goes back to passion —
somebody who’s not afraid to
work and has a good work
ethic and without a doubt is a
good team player.

Most oftentimes, you’ve only
got 30 minutes to an hour to
interview somebody. And I had
many interviews back in college where the interviewer did
their best to make me feel
uncomfortable. I don’t believe
I can pass judgment on a person without getting to know
them, and if you pin them into
a corner where there’s no way
out, I don’t think you get to
know the person.

I have a good, enthusiastic
conversation with them that
oftentimes isn’t even about the
job at hand. That tells me
more about the person in the
time that I’m given to find out
what their makeup is. It’s not
going to tell you everything
you want to know, but you’re
going to learn a lot more from
somebody by talking to them
on the level they can relate to
as opposed to tricking them.
You get much better people that way than by making them
feel uncomfortable and not
knowing how to answer it or
having no confidence in my 30
minutes to an hour time.

You can make progress
quickly in an organization. If
you have the right people in
the right place, that means
your entire management team
and key people are thinking
the same. If you’re thinking the
same, you can make the decisions that you need to make to
improve your company.