Ryan Ozimek, Custodian of PICnet

Susan Finkelpearl of Free Range Studios and Ryan OzimekI just had a great online discussion with PICnetter Tim, who rightfully thinks I’m crazy for the hours I put into my work. Luckily, Tim and I were able to see eye-to-eye on a leadership development method called servant leadership. During the conversation, I thought about my CEO title, and how it seemed to connote and over-emphasize a top-down hierarchical structure at PICnet.

While I enjoy the title and the perks, like the CEO parking space (my bike in the office) and the CEO airline upgrades (every seat on jetBlue is first class), I believe a better term to associate with my position is “custodian” or possibly “steward”.

I mean, look at this photo here. That’s me, Ryan the Builder, with PICnet’s good friend Susan Finkelpearl of Free Range Studios. What word comes to mind there, “CEO” or “custodian”?

We’ve got 9 people working at PICnet now, and with our phenomenal growth during the past year, it’s easy for a CEO to get a little over-excited with delegation management. Trust me, I’m happy to delegate. With strong growth, however, some executives take an opportunity to build a pyramid that they’re able to simply sit upon while their employees (note the explicit non-use of the word “teammates”) push the pyramid upwards.

Tim brought to my attention his appreciation for the inverted pyramid management structure, as he says, “suggesting that the CEO supports the work of everyone else.” Right on Tim, I couldn’t have said it more succinctly.

It’s funny when we work with partner organizations, because I think that oftentimes they find that although my schedule is rather crowded these days, I’m pretty darn approachable (and yes, accessible) for a CEO. I just believe that when you’re trying to build leadership in this great non-profit world we live in, you can’t do it in a leader’s bubble. It’s raw sweat that’s going to make our services like Non-Profit Soapbox even more successful and powerful for our communities.

Rarely have I taken the opportunity to speak of PICnet’s “secret sauce”, which really is our internal, non-technical, structures (or lack thereof). Maybe I’ll post some more insights here so our clients and community can have a better understanding of the PICnet family.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 28th, 2007 at 9:50 pm and is filed under picnetters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Ryan Ozimek, Custodian of PICnet”

  1. Yep, Ryan, gotta agree with Tim, the hours you put in really do seem crazy!! And I guess, it’s an excellent example, of how you’re leading, not just your staff, but also your community by example.. Your commitment to getting things done, is really something that others in the non-profit tech community really can learn from… But I guess, like all things in life, eventually, the good just surfaces to the top, whilst the bad, slowly starts to disappear below the surface!!

    On the subject of Servant Leadership I can highly recommend the book by James Hunter, The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership

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