free copy
of the leadership manifesto

Management Archives - Steve Satterwhite

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: The Secret to Great Customer Service

Posted by | Above the Line, Customer Service, Entrepreneur, Higher Quality, Leadership, Management | No Comments

Service is often the art of making good on someone else’s mistake.

Cavett Robert

Years ago, our small but fast-growing IT services company got a bite at a big, fat contract with Dell. Our job was to design, deploy, and manage Enterprise IT storage systems for their customers.

During the kickoff to that contract, our customer, Jeff, told us we had to do three things:

First, we could never ever make a mistake, or we’d be gone. Second, we had to be THE low cost provider. And, third, we had to deliver near-perfect customer service. Think Net Promoter or a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale.

Not one of those things. All three of those things. When OR became AND.

After Jeff outlined the high-level expectations, I started to ask him a lot of detailed questions about how things worked, about the processes and procedures, statements of work (SOW) and the methodology Dell used to design, install and configure backup and recovery solutions. In other words, how were they doing it now?

Jeff just laughed. Read More

When OR Became AND: A Simple Formula For Growing Your Business

Posted by | Above the Line, Customer Service, Entrepreneur, Growing Your Business, Higher Quality, Leadership, Management, Video | No Comments

“No Be-Backs. Ever.”

–Jeff, From Dell

Years ago, I was on a routine sales call with a guy named Jeff from Dell. Jeff was looking for IT service partners to help Dell perform the services their customers needed when they bought Dell server and storage products.

During the sales call, I asked a simple question: “So, Jeff, what keeps you up at night?”

Without a moment of hesitation, he said, “Be-Backs.

What? Read More

How To Fail in Business Without Even Trying

Posted by | Above the Line, Entrepreneur, Leadership, Management, Overcoming Adversity, Video | No Comments

“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

It my last video & blog, How to Daydream Your Way to Success, I told the story about how I took daily refuge in this Starbucks across the street from my office after we lost 60% of our business in 90 days.

I sat there every morning, with my pen, notebook, and imagination. Sipping my cappuccino. Pretending I was thriving. But, in reality, I was merely surviving!

Not too long after, as I was packing up my office (we were moving to a new location), I found a book under the pile of papers on the top corner of my desk.

It was The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy, Fred Wiersema. A friend gave me that book. It had been sitting on my desk untouched for some time.

As I picked it up, the subtitle caught my eye:

Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market

I laughed out loud! Read More

How to Daydream Your Way to Success

Posted by | Entrepreneur, Leadership, Management, Overcoming Adversity, Video | No Comments

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”


You may have heard me tell the story (or watched the YouTube video) about how we lost 60% of our company’s revenue in 90 days back in 2001.

And you may have found it amusing or inspiring when my wife later said, “Get your ass out of bed, get down there and save the company”. You can read more about this in the opening chapter of my book, Above the Line.

It’s true. We did lose the revenue and the company almost went down the tubes and became another one of those 80%-of-all-businesses-fail-in-the-first-five-years statistic. The good news, we landed on the 20% who make it side.

So, how did we recover? The answer may surprise you. Read More

Circling the Airport: What to do when you find yourself faced with difficult decisions.

Posted by | Entrepreneur, Leadership, Management, Overcoming Adversity, Video | No Comments

“Make a decision. And if that was the wrong one, then make another decision.”


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just get stuck.

When I look back on my business and personal life, I can think of many times where I needed to make an important decision. But instead of making the decision, I would get stuck.

I would wait. Procrastinate. Weigh my options. Hesitate. Weigh even more options. Look at the situation again and again. Repeat the drill.

I call this mind numbing activity of mine: “Circling the Airport”. Read More

Get your ass out of bed, get down there and save the company!

Posted by | Entrepreneur, Leadership, Management, Overcoming Adversity | No Comments

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

                                                                                     Nelson Mandela


Today, Entelligence celebrates 17 years in business. And, today, I must admit that I’m really proud.

I’m proud of the people who work here. People who pour their hearts and souls into the company. People who run the extra mile. For each other. For our customers. Day after day.

Proud of our amazing team that does so many little things in the background. Little things that you’ll never see or know of. And yet, these are the things that make a really big difference in people’s lives.

I love our people. I love our energy. I love the company we’ve created. And, yes, I’m just goddang proud today.

Truth is, there was a time when I didn’t think we’d make it. We came to the edge of losing it all before we even really got started. Before we found our voice. Before we found our truth.

This video tells that story. But it also tells the story of how, sometimes, the simplest words can make all the difference in the world. Words have energizing power. Power to light us up. To light the way. To inspire. To give hope. And, as in my case, courage to keep going.

As an entrepreneur and leader, I often find myself facing fears, uncertainties, and doubts that consume my thinking. But it’s often those closest to me that have the courage to challenge my thinking, my beliefs, and get me to get my ass out of bed and go make something happen.

Today, as we celebrate 17 years at Entelligence, I couldn’t be more proud of who we are and what we’ve created. And I am grateful for all the people, customers, partners and friends who have swung through our doors over the last 17 years. You made a difference in my life.

And to the Entelligence team, let me just say this: Thank you. I believe in you. I see you. I appreciate you. You’re amazing. Thank you for you. I love you.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 4.28.25 PM

Leading from Above the Line

Posted by | Above the Line, Entrepreneur, Leadership, Management, Media | No Comments

We have a crisis in business. Right now. But it’s not the crisis we all think it is and what we’re all talking about. What we’re talking about the crisis Employee Engagement. The fact that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged according to Gallup.

That’s what we’re all talking about.

But that’s not the REAL crisis. The real crisis is the fact that we have a Leadership Engagement problem.

Read More

I Love Shout Outs

Posted by | Above the Line, Entrepreneur, Leadership, Management | 4 Comments

Let me share two quick stories.

I first learned about Shout Outs from my friend Leslie Baum at EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization). She and I were working together on a big project in Texas. It was EO’s semi-annual conference. I was the Co-Chair of the event. And it was right here in my backyard in Houston.

During the event, we would start each day with an EO Event Staff team huddle. We’d talk about what we were going to do that day. What we needed to address from the day before. And really take time to get a game plan together for how we were going to knock the socks off our 750+ CEO guests from around the world that day.

But what struck me about these meetings was not so much about the event itself and the logistical things we needed to do each day—like how many chicken dinners we were serving and at what time.

No, what struck me was really about how that amazing group of EO Event Staff came together, that week, and created a solid, cohesive team that supported and lifted each other up. Read More