Q&A with Isaac Garcia – Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

isaac garcia

System Architect and Owner

IT Applied Automation

isaac garcia

Number of employees you supervise: 4

Brief history of your business:

We started in September 2018. We started out of love for the people in our community and a passion for technology. At Applied Automation IT, we put people first and information technology second.

How did you get your current position? How long have you been in it?

I founded the company in 2018.

Why should the Tri-Cities care about their industry?

All companies need IT because all companies use technology.

What challenges do you face with recruitment? What are you doing to recruit employees?

The challenge with recruiting is finding smart IT people who also know how to talk to people, who value customer service.

How do you stay up to date when technology is always changing?

It is important to keep training. We work hard to maintain certifications. We are constantly reading updated news articles. We always strive to research the newest technologies.

What are the common mistakes small businesses make when choosing technologies?

The first common mistake people make is making short-term technology decisions instead of long-term decisions. The cheapest options are not always the best options and can end up costing more in the long run.

The second is not partnering with a technology expert to consult and develop a technology plan for your business.

Mac or PC?

Depends on what you’re using it for. We love them both.

What is one characteristic you think every leader should possess?

Every leader must have a good vision of their business. If you have a well-developed vision, then everything else will fall into place.

What is the biggest challenge facing business owners/managers today?

The biggest challenge is finding the right people to work for your business and adapting to a changing market so you can keep the right people.

If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry or field?

Remove the stigma that IT people can’t be nice.

What advice would you give to someone entering a leadership position for the first time?

Stay humble and always have a growth mindset.

Who are your role models or mentors?

I enjoy reading Simon Sinek, Dale Carnegie and Malcolm Gladwell. I have a handful of local business leaders who serve as mentors in my life. I also have a wonderful pastor, who takes the time to really pour himself into me and help me develop both my character and leadership potential.

How do you keep your employees (or team members) motivated?

Giving them quantifiable and highly achievable benchmarks.

How did you decide to pursue the career you are working on today?

He wanted to learn how to hack computers. I mean, who doesn’t?

Sounds like the coolest job.

How do you measure success in your workplace?

Customer satisfaction is number 1. We want to earn our customers’ business every month. Team camaraderie is number 2. I want my team to feel like they have each other’s back.

What do you consider to be your leadership style?

I would consider myself to have a coaching leadership style. I think it’s important to help people develop and grow. I like to see the strengths of each person and help foster them, while helping them improve their weaknesses.

How do you reconcile work and family life?

Setting healthy limits. I am deliberate about spending intentional time with my wife and children when I am home. When I’m at work, I focus on my clients and building my business.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I spend a lot of time renovating our house and garden. We bought a fixer-upper this year and it’s been nice to build it the way we envisioned it.

What is your best time management strategy?

I like to use a time lock variation. I make a to-do list each day of the top 4 things I want to accomplish and then schedule them into blocks of time.

I schedule time between my high-priority tasks for all the unexpected things that are sure to come up. It’s a great way to stay organized, but it’s also kind of funny for when days don’t go exactly as planned.

The best advice to relieve stress?

The things that work best for me are exercising, reading my Bible, and praying.

What is your favorite podcast? Most used app? Or favorite website? Favorite book?

Favorite Book: “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan B. Peterson.

Podcast: “The Art of Masculinity”

Most used application: Loose

Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote that you would like to use?

“Would I rather be feared or loved? Um… easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
-Michael Scott, “The Office”.

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