Using the word “Great” is a strong way to describe any organization’s leadership, but I believe it has been earned in Workday‘s case. Their entire team seems to have a clear understanding of their mission (the What), the reason behind it (the Why), and the means to accomplish it (the How).
“The greatness of a leader is measured by the achievements of the led. This is the ultimate test of his effectiveness.”
— Gen. Omar Bradley
I began my time working with ERP’s back in the early ’90s when organizations were just beginning to be concerned with Y2K. That uncertainty of that time, along with the advances in platform ERP solutions for corporations, created a robust new market for those solutions. Add in the new technologies being introduced at the time, and it was almost explosive.
During this time of huge growth and opportunity emerged a little ERP company, PeopleSoft. Unlike others, it started with an HR approach versus the more traditional financial launch. What made PeopleSoft so unique wasn’t necessarily the software but the leadership, the people, and the culture.
Dave Duffield, his fellow PeopleSoft founders, and the early leaders not only had a vision for an ERP firm but the type of organization they wanted to bring to the market. From the outside, it is hard to articulate what this was, but their concept became more apparent in the focused, positive, and happy way their people displayed this (I know – sounds corny). But this was exactly the way the leadership lived it with their team.
When this former PeopleSoft leadership team formed Workday, they brought this environment with them – but in an improved version. One of the characteristics I’m finding in our Workday relationship is their continuous review and update of their business practices for improvement. Even more inspiring is the positive way their employees embrace this change because they understand its purpose.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
— John Quincy Adams
In my opinion, the best leadership is not just about employing effective practices but establishing an environment that is demonstrated by your entire team – and with a great attitude and acceptance. Workday has shown this to my company, and my other partners report a similar impression. It all begins with a leadership that believes, communicates, and acts that way itself.
HL Group has been an Emerging Partner with Workday since 2020, but I have been in personal communication with them since 2017. All of my interactions across their team have been extremely positive. Knowing this experience starts with their leadership; it makes our investment with them easy to commit to and appreciate.