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Executive Watch - Trevor McIntyre, TracPlus CEO

Posted 3 years 299 days ago ago by Admin

TracPlus, headquartered in New Zealand, coordinates collaboration and communication between first responders on a shared platform that has now logged 6,500,000 flight hours, which seems to approximate how many academic credit hours the technology company’s CEO, Trevor McIntyre, has accumulated. The executive has a bachelor’s degree and postgraduate degrees from Rhodes University in his native land of South Africa, as well as a further postgraduate degree from the University of Natal, and a Master’s Degree (with first class honors) from the National College of Ireland. Then there are his two professional charters as well. He’s a Chartered Accountant through his fellowship in the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. That’s impressive book-cracking.  However, you’d be mistaken if you deemed McIntyre an ivory tower student detached from the real business world. Most of those degrees were earned in night classes while he pursued his career in the light of day day with Big Four accounting consulting firms, like KPMG and PWC, helping companies recognize their strengths and find their sometimes hidden flaws.  “Studying that way (at night) taught me how to manage my time effectively and that you can fit more into your life than you believe that you can. I believe that education is a key part of constantly striving to improve yourself. My parents were both teachers and really emphasized the importance of lifelong learning to my brothers and I. It is a key part of what I try to embed into my teams.” says McIntyre. 

Guiding Values

Perhaps it’s his yen-yang combo of gritty, night school work and tony, formal consulting that prompts the CEO to begin his corporation’s official list of guiding values with this #1 principal:

  • Don’t be a dick. “Simply do as the value says, don’t be a dick!” he elaborates. “We call out others who are behaving in a dickish manner.” 

Ok, that response makes me execute the last-listed TracPlus value:

  • Smile.  “We have fun. Positive action is prized. We build each other up. Our differences add to our strength,” he explains. 

As for the company values in-between, they are, with McIntyre’s comments: 

  • Do what you say: “When we commit, we communicate, we focus and follow through— on time, on budget.”
  • Own the outcome: “We operate with integrity and accountability. We get it done. We welcome and learn from feedback. We don’t shirk responsibility.”
  • Find Solutions: “We are problem solvers. We join forces. We have the courage to change. We listen to our customers. We love the problem.
  • Innovate: “We are not satisfied with the status quo. We actively seek out and embrace disruption. We understand that innovation is not just a product.”

The CEO concludes, “I believe that these values reflect the type of leader that I hope to be. We strive to be an employer of choice in our market space. We want people to grow while working with us, to enjoy a sense of achievement in what they do, and we want them to love coming in to work every day.” Anecdotally, this approach seems to be working with at least one TracPlus employee, Rosa Anderson-Jones, who assisted Rotorcraft Pro in setting up this profile interview. She remarked, “He is a fantastic CEO and we are so lucky.”

These guiding principles appear to be producing numbers the former accounting consultant can appreciate. McIntyre’s been the TracPlus CEO for three years. and in that time “We’ve grown the business three times, with a five-times growth in our team over the equivalent period,” he says. “We are investing in bringing great people to our company. I strongly believe in hiring people that are better than you, agreeing on a strategy, and allowing the team to drive their core areas of the business. I am really proud to work with the team that we have and with the customers that we serve. I believe in what we are trying to achieve as a group, and enjoy this role more than any other that I have had.” That’s saying something, because those past roles weren’t insignificant placeholders. One of his key consulting assignments lasted approximately five years with Escher Group. Escher was a fintech spin out from MIT, based on an enterprise-grade peer-to-peer communication protocol, which was like a forerunner to blockchain technology that gave rise to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Then there was ADInstruments, where he worked for approximately another 5 years, leaving as CEO. ADInstruments has a wide reach globally and has offices in 10 countries. A key takeaway for McIntyre was learning the importance of culture and values for a company that has a spread work force.

Similar to his time at ADInstruments, TracPlus customers rely on high fidelity data says McIntyre. “Customers need to trust that the data has been recorded appropriately, is available when needed, and is correct,” he elaborates. “We continue to invest heavily in our platform to deliver greater value to customers as a differentiator and we have completely redeveloped our core platform to deliver more for our customers.”

Keys to Stellar Success

With the growing success that TracPlus is experiencing under McIntyre, he is reluctant to give himself credit. Being humble is nice, but really what keys led to his success? “I feel like a bit of a fraud in answering this question to be honest,” he begins. “My view is that the career highlights that I have enjoyed have not been due to my efforts, but as a result of strong, cohesive teams. My view is that success as a leader comes from creating strong teams that own what they do. As an ex colleague says, leaders create leaders.” 

Right now, you may wish to take notes, because McIntyre relents to detail his secret ingredients for success, “In terms of business success, at a personal level I have tried to one, always seek to do the right thing. Two, spend more time seeking to understand than talking. Three, embrace disruption and do not be afraid to disrupt yourself. Four, have a plan based on what your customers tell you. Five, find people that are better than you and empower them. Also, hold yourself to high standards by working hard and role modelling the behaviors that you expect of your team, and communicate, communicate, communicate! Be ambitious, be authentic to who you are, and understand that the small things matter. Finally, do not be afraid to show vulnerability as a leader.” That wisdom was worth the wait.

Leisure and Family

Although such managerial nuggets come from years of experience, McIntyre also gleans what he can from books. For example, the last book he read is The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace by S. Chris Edmonds. His interests aren’t all work and no play though, he’s also reading Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds, a bio about a famed South African rugby player as McIntyre enjoys coaching his children on their sport fields. 

Yet, he takes special pride in one of their off-the-field accomplishments: “My (young) son stood up for one of his friends in the face of bullying, and it was such a proud moment for my wife and I as parents. We all try to install good values into our families. Seeing them follow through in the face of adversity shows that these are not just words,” he says. It’s telling of his priorities that McIntyre sees that brave, shining moment as one of his greatest personal accomplishments.  

Needless to say, family is dear to McIntyre. He actually relocated his career to New Zealand, in part so they could live closer to his wife’s family. That move also offers another benefit to the McIntyres. “We are really blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world and we spend as much time as possible exploring the outdoors,” he says.
Based on employee feedback and growing business numbers, it seems that TracPlus has been blessed as well.