Phil Dumm is a name many of you will recognize as the technical project manager here at C2IT. He has reached his 2nd anniversary on our team, and we wanted to take a moment to highlight him – both his story as well as how much we value him.
Phil spent most of his career before C2IT working with AT&T; he worked there for forty years as a general manager supervising a team of project managers. However, as all things must one day come to an end, so did Phil’s time with AT&T. After he departed from AT&T, Phil was thrust back into the world which in some ways had become unfamiliar to him. Phil knew that he needed to make a decision; he could retire, a strong and long career behind him with AT&T could be the end of this chapter, or he could choose to find a new path in his career. Phil decided that he wasn’t content with retiring, he wanted to work and wanted to be challenged. After some soul-searching, Phil concluded that after years leading others he wanted to be a practitioner in his field; he wanted to do the work he had come to love and wanted a ‘breath of fresh air’ so to speak. Phil began the tough process of searching for a new job, sending out his resume to various places of work that were looking for the services that he knew he could bring to the table. One of these companies was C2IT.
Chet, our president, and founder, and Phil would go on to have conversations about joining the C2IT team and Phil enjoyed what he heard. He liked the idea of being put into what would be an alien environment for him. He would be going from a massive multibillion-dollar company to a small business. This would be a total culture shock in some ways for Phil, and he accepted the job eagerly anticipating what this new environment would bring and what it could teach him. He was also excited about what he might be able to do for the business. Phil found rather quickly that there were vast differences as he had anticipated. The first thing that Phil needed to get accustomed to was the idea that every dollar needed to be used with extreme diligence. Remember that Phil had worked in a company where what would be a relatively small amount of money for them being spent on a tool or service meant little so long as the job itself got done successfully. However, transitioning to a small business, every dollar that comes in and goes out is essential. Phil also found that there were exciting surprises for him in this new setting, such as a low power distance. Power distance, boiled down, is the idea that one acts differently with those that hold authority over them versus their peers. In interactions with employees, if a superior has certain behaviors or the two are in a culture that promotes high power distance there are parts of that person the superior will never know or see. The dialogue isn’t as open because of the distance between them due to the authority or culture. This was the experience that Phil was used to; getting to know the people he worked with, but never completely because of this concept of power distance. Transitioning to a small business, Phil found that the power distance was much lower. People interacted much more fluidly and openly, jokes were commonplace, laughter was nearly a requirement in conversation, and it was perfectly acceptable to simply be yourself. The second side of the coin for this was the value that C2IT gained from Phil’s joining the team. Both our clients and our employees gain insight into a multi-billion dollar organization that we can now scale to the small businesses we serve. Coupled with our firm commitment to economic value and loyal partnership, Phil’s insights add great value to our team and our clients we’re honored to serve.
The most important change for Phil would come in the feeling of being ‘free’. In his prior career, Phil had always felt somewhat boxed in. Learning to perform his tasks as they were presented to him, very cut and dry, and the mentality of being careful not to stray outside of those lines for fear of stepping on someone else’s toes. Working at C2IT however, Phil found that he had far more freedom. Everyone does a bit of everything and if you can go that extra mile and add value to your work by doing something that perhaps wasn’t exactly outlined in the project or even your job description, you’re applauded rather than chided for doing ‘someone else’s work’. This feeling for Phil was a great one, he would no longer feel boxed in and would find himself enjoying using his experience to find creative solutions to our clients’ technology problems.
Phil has been an incredibly valuable asset to the team here at C2IT over his two years working with us, and we’re glad to have him. One thing you can always count on with a conversation from Phil Dumm is you will walk out having learned something. Small or large, even if you believed yourself the expert on the topic, Phil will always have something to say that makes you think, and expands your mind, even if only by a small measure. Thank you for being a part of our team for these past two years, Phil, we look forward to more.