Three years ago, I left the ranks of full-time employment to become an independent consultant. At the same time, I partnered with Linchpin People, a guild of independent consultants made up of some of the very best practitioners in the database and business intelligence space. Working with Linchpin helped to ease my transition into independent consulting, and my ongoing relationship with the Linchpin crew continues to be fruitful to this day.
Linchpin has been going through some organizational changes lately, which included the addition of a couple of new partners to the leadership team – and I was one of those added as a partner. I’ve had the privilege of working with the other partners to help refine the company vision and direction, and to continue to build the Linchpin brand. The experience of working with the other partners, getting a glimpse into their experiences and learning much from them, and getting to know them personally has been nothing short of life-changing. Although participating in the leadership of such a successful and rapidly-changing group is a lot of work, the value of the experience I have gained through this whole process is inestimable.
However, things evolved as they always do. Through dozens or perhaps hundreds of hours of discussions on the future of Linchpin, the rest of the leadership team and I found that we had some differences on our respective visions for what Linchpin should be. Although we were in complete alignment on some things – dedication to service excellence, maintaining the highest level of integrity in business, and treating everyone fairly and respectfully – there were some other big-picture elements on which we differed significantly. Even though I am confident that we could have gotten along in spite of these differences, none of us wanted to create a scenario in which one of the equity partners had very different expectations for the future of the company.
After much discussion, the other partners and I decided that I will step aside as partner. I will continue working with Linchpin People as a teammate, delivering solutions to current and future clients of Linchpin. This change is completely amicable on both sides, and we expect that I will continue to be a part of the Linchpin solutions team for years to come. As I shared internally with the rest of our team: this is not the end of my relationship with Linchpin, but a redefinition of that relationship. I have been and am still proud to be a part of such a fantastic group.
So what does that mean for the future? For current and future Linchpin clients, there will be no change. The most visible change is that I will be more conspicuous in branding on my own. For those who follow me on social media, you’ll see more references to and branding around my company Tyleris Data Solutions. I will continue to rely on Linchpin People for clients who need services I do not provide on my own (such as database tuning and high availability) and we plan to work together in areas where our service offerings overlap.
Life and business both require us to refocus frequently. Although the focus we’ve found doesn’t look like what we thought it would, I consider it a success that we discovered our incompatibilities before we got any further down the road, and I am delighted that we were able to redefine our relationship proactively rather than in response to friction that would almost certainly have come up later. And in spite of the fact that this refocusing exercise leads us to an outcome in which I step out of the leadership in Linchpin, I consider it to be a win that the company structure and our mutual trust enabled us to tweak the terms of our professional relationship without ending it.