Mr. Dabierry built his first business, Manhattan Associates, from the ground up. From starting up outside Los Angeles to a move to Atlanta, the company grew successfully. And the principles he built his success on all came from his lessons on the value of hard work early in life.
Alan Dabierre was a wrestler in high school. He wasn’t the most talented wrestler, though. He didn’t have the best physical skills, didn’t have the best moves. He learned that in order to win he would have to work harder than everybody else. He would have to outwork the other person, from training to the match itself. Understanding his abilities and limits, he focused on just two moves—and practiced them over and over and over. Those two moves would be better than anything anyone else had. The result? He became a championship high school wrestler.
That tenacity became a critical part of his business approach, too.
A unique insight he brought was the idea that there is no such thing as a bad business. Any idea can be a good or a bad business—it depends on how you execute the idea. For Alan’s business he focused on his specific niche. He differentiated from his competitors. And that helped him to grow the business quickly and effectively.
The most important lesson Alan Dabierre cited that changed his approach from his first business to his second was the importance of relationships. In his first, he didn’t know how to avoid politicking, infighting—chaos. Things were often dysfunctional. Given a chance to start over, he learned that if you want to grow quickly, you can’t have your finger on every person at all times. You have to hire great people who work hard and want to be part of the team, people you can trust to go figure things out and to work well together.
When you micromanage, you’re limited. The answer is to enable people to be part of the team, to think and figure out what’s going on. When that happens, people are more effective in their work, people with a mission, who are more motivated.