Scott Hall is an experienced regional manager from Ellicott City Maryland. Scott has a customer-focused mindset that has helped him develop a successful career of increasing profitability in areas that needed his attention.
While attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, Scott began his service career at CompUSA. He spent sixteen years with the company in several positions up to a Division Director. He was known for going into problematic areas and improving their service and profit in short-order. During his tenure there, he received many awards, including the highest increase of sales and youngest general manager.
Scott Hall enjoys spending time with is family, and vacationing throughout the east coast of the United States.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day involves two things: helping to continue and refine how we grow our business in the markets we operate. It’s my job to think about the short-term actions we are taking and how they affect the long-term objectives of the company. The second part of my day is working alongside my general managers in the cities that we operate. That may be over the phone, discussing day-to-day operations and plans to improve. I may also be there, talking face-to-face and speaking with customers, getting feedback on our products and services. We want to know what our customers like and what they dislike so that we can shape our strategies as an organization.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like to create an environment in which people feel that their ideas are both valued and welcomed. I encourage my team to share their ideas with others. It is important that people feel that their ideas, no matter how outlandish or out of the box, can be shared without fear in an organization. They may not always be accepted, but they will be listened to. We also have what I like to call an actionable environment where once a decision has been made, the implementation of that is immediate. It is important to remember that ideas are generated at a point in time, usually due to a need, but the business world is not static. You have to have the structures in place to adapt those ideas to changing business needs.
What is one trend that excites you?
The most important trend that excites me is the way that technology has influenced people’s thoughts. Through the use of technology and apps, we now have so many things available on demand. Everyone has the capability to do things at a moment’s notice, whether it’s ordering food or ordering products. The trends are fascinating because they allow people to adapt more quickly to the changing world around them, as well as customize their world. They can focus more on experiences than the acquisition of goods. That has been a huge trend we have seen, especially in larger cities.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
I think the most productive habit I have is always attempting to find a solution to a problem, being very adaptive to the challenge at hand. I don’t limit myself to linear thinking and just what we have done before. Instead, I ask myself what are all the different ways we can tackle this problem? What are some new ways that we can resolve this?
What advice would you give your younger self?
I think the most important advice I could give my younger Scott Hall would be to be patient with people. Everyone learns, adapts, and works at a different pace. Everyone has their own strengths. Recognizing that those differences are what create a strong company and add value to an organization is an important lesson. Everyone has their own unique talent that they bring to the table. Valuing that more than the speed of action would have been helpful to have realized when I was younger.
Tell us something that is true that almost no one agrees with you on.
I hold the belief that almost all people are inherently good but are sometimes placed in situations or there are circumstances that arise that cause challenges that can influence their decision-making. In conversations that I have had with friends or family, I’ve come to realize that not everyone agrees with that. I think most people who face adversity will choose to do what is right.
As a manager, what is one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am constantly planning and adjusting my planning for what I am doing. I don’t mean just for today, but for where I want to be next month or next year and beyond. You have to be constantly adapting your strategy and practices to keep up with the rapidly changing pace in the business world. I think too many people focus too much on just today. The business graveyard is lined with companies that had billions of dollars in sales but now don’t exist because of their failure to adapt for the future.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
I think the most important strategy has been to focus, single-mindedly, on what your customers are asking of you as a business. By doing that, you are often able to cut through office politics and provide what your customers really want. You can align yourself with what your customers really want because without them you don’t exist.
What is one failure you’ve had as a manager and how did you overcome it?
Early in my career, I had a senior manager who was very talented and very intelligent, but I was not able to get him to see that his business habits needed to change. He had previously been in public service and had changed into the technology field. It is especially painful when you know someone has the capability but was unwilling to make the necessary changes in the leadership style to be successful. I feel like this was a failure because I was young, still trying to develop my own style, and I wasn’t able to be respected enough by him in order for him to take my advice.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
When my family and I vacation at the beach, we see all the time that people have forgotten something, but no one wants to walk back to where they are staying to get whatever that may be. I think there is an unbelievable, untapped demand for a quick delivery service for those things to be ordered through an app and delivered within an hour or so. I think having that ability to provide that service to busy families on vacation could be an excellent business idea.
What is the best $100 you have recently spent? What and why?
The best recent purchase has been a subscription to The Washington Business Journal. This keeps me in tune with the business and real estate trends in DC and Baltimore so I better understand how my business can take advantage of what is going on in those areas. It’s an investment in education and knowledge that will make me a better leader.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive and how do you use it?
I use a program called Trello that is a combination project manager, time manager, and collaborative tool that can be used across platforms. It can be accessed on desktop and mobile devices that allows you to share files, pictures, anything you need so you can work in real-time. It is an incredibly valuable tool that I use in my professional and personal life that I couldn’t do without.
What is one book you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend everyone read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. I recommend it because people often ask how the world evolved to what it is today and how can it be changed. It talks about how the evolution of today’s society is due to environmental advantages or disadvantages that existed hundreds of years ago, but also how society has changed due to those circumstances. It speaks to how your environment can shape who you are, but it’s not the sole determinant of where you are as a person.
What is your favorite quote?
Always do your best. Whatever you plant now, you will harvest later.” It’s short, but I heard it years ago and made me think about being willing to invest the time to be patient and good things will come from your efforts.