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Emerge Tampa Bay with Chuck Sykes, CEO of Sykes Enterprise

August 25, 2016

Part of The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Emerge Tampa Bay hosted another great speaker for their event! Located at the HCI Group, a property causality and Insurance company, the room was filled with young professionals eager to hear the advice of a successful Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Chuck Sykes of Skye’s Enterprise.

Chuck Sykes followed in the footsteps of his father, who was the Founder and CEO of the company. Sykes Enterprise moved to Tampa in 1992 and made the decision to transform their company, focusing more on IT solutions. They adapted their company to reflect the changes that were taking place in the world of communication; they went from just telephone to a broader range of IT services such as websites and online chats.

With a room full of eager young professionals ready to progress their careers, Chuck shared his learning experiences and gave advice based on his past. The first piece of advice he gave us was to ‘Be Yourself’. This is something he personally struggled with. Following in the footsteps of his father, the previous Founder and CEO at Sykes, he knew they had different personalities. Because of this, it was hard for Chuck to visualize his own personality being the CEO. He soon learned his strengths and was able to tackle this important position.

Another piece of advice that was shared was real vs perceived leadership. This is where Chuck shared his story of how he became CEO. He was in a meeting and listening, but it was obvious he was squirming and wanting to voice his opinion. He was told to ask questions, and engage in the conversation. This proves you are interested in the topic. He gave us the advice of PIE meaning Performance, Image and Engage. Engaging leaves a mark on the other people in the room, showing them you are committed.

Chuck Sykes wants his team to be leaders therefore he explained what it means to be a leader. First he looks at the behavior of the individual and wants to reach the core of the person. He wants to make sure the person is able to reach a balance of work and personal life as well as make sure they have courage and are authentic. There are three main skills Chuck Sykes wanted everyone to be aware of: organizational with time, tasks and ideas; communication including written, verbal and visual; and finally decision making focusing on timeliness, accuracy and toughness.

Chuck Sykes took the time to give us advice on what books to read to become a better leader. Some of his favorites are Good to Great, The Pyramid Principle, SPIN Selling and Principle Centered Leadership. Chuck Sykes left everyone in the room with words to think about and ways to start improving their career at such a young age. It was truly inspiring.

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This post was written by Heidi Niese

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