Leadership is Communicating to Another Their Worth and Potential
Chairman and CEO of TEZ Technology
Mike Simmons is a 30-year parking and mobility industry technology veteran. He is the Chairman and CEO of TEZ Technology, where he is responsible for expanding the company’s North American footprint and operations, while also leading its growing international presence.
Mike is a proven leader and innovator of high-growth technology companies, having previously founded and scaled parking technology firm T2 Systems as its founder and CEO. For T2, Mike helped create multiple parking solutions, including parking management and enforcement platforms. He oversaw the company’s ascension through multiple phases of unprecedented growth and institutional acquisitions, including Logic4u and Digital Payment Technologies, over a 25-year period
Mike has dedicated his career to leading the development and implementation of some of the most innovative parking solutions available today. He has been a visionary in identifying opportunities to enhance the customer parking experience, as well as creating valuable tools to streamline staff operations while enabling organizations to support their patrons.
Mike’s leadership has been integral in not only revolutionizing parking, but creating opportunities for other parking, transportation, and mobility professionals to advance their careers and create their own impact. His parking professional career “tree” includes numerous parking, transportation, and mobility professionals who have had the opportunity to expand their industry knowledge, while developing and implementing innovative solutions, and expanding their network under Mike’s leadership. As an industry professional, CEO, and mentor, Mike has helped many individuals throughout the industry begin, establish, and grow their careers while making their own impact on the industry.
• Approach to Leadership
I’m a believer in hiring great people and letting them do what they do best. There are things that I believe I am good at professionally, but no one can be great at everything. I’ve been fortunate to hire outstanding people who have had far greater knowledge and skill in particular areas than I had. Letting go of control in those areas isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary for the organization to grow and evolve.
• What makes a great leader?
The leader’s primary job is to make sure everyone understands where the boat is headed and that everyone is rowing in that direction. I particularly like the Stephen Covey quote: “Leadership is communicating to another their worth and potential so clearly they are inspired to see it in themselves.” That’s a very high bar but I’ve always found it to be inspiring.
• How do you motivate yourself to see things anew every day?
I believe it starts with an attitude of gratitude. I do my best to take time every day to set aside the less-than-great or stressful things that come my way and be grateful for my family, friends, co-workers, past wins and experiences, as well as current and future opportunities. When I’m in that state, it opens me up to look around and see things in a different way. Also, for me professionally, I’ve been fortunate to be able to take some long-term sabbatical time away and have greatly enjoyed the personal renewal associated with added time with family and friends, travel, golf, skiing, etc. But nothing sharpens the saw like working with a great team solving challenging customer and market problems, which I’m grateful to be enjoying again with the TEZ team.
• What are the essential ingredients for a successful team?
First and foremost, there must be trust and buy-in for “the first team.” Patrick Lencioni’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” is a great resource to help understand this concept. Celebrating wins together, breaking bread over a glass of wine, engaging in honest, respectful, fierce conversations all help a team coalesce and come together.//
Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C, CAPP is president, Leinart Consulting