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June 19, 20245 min read

Tait Talks: Fostering Talent Development for Utilities Telecommunications


In this latest Tait Talks; Join Tait Communications' Director of Global Solutions Dan Draughn, as he articulates the last 50 years of mission critical communications, and the transformative life experiences that help form the industry leaders of today.

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Challenges Mission Critical Communication Leaders Face

Mission Critical Communications has been rapidly changing for the last 2-3 decades. Today everything seems to be changing at the same time. 

Utility telecom leadership is more important today than ever before. A significant threat to progress is motivation. Telecom leaders, regardless of where they sit in the management structure, can have a major impact on the short and long term performance of your organization. 

Working closely for nearly 50 years with Mission Critical organizations and others, I can state without hesitation telecom leadership is more critical today than before. The ability for leaders to effectively communicate with peers, staff and yes senior level department heads has been significantly impacted by the rapid adoption of non in-person means of communications. 

Then you add to that the negative impact COVID has had on families, community and workplace interaction. It’s no surprise the enjoyment of engaging with people you trust is in decline. 

Relationship development is a key factor in building trust and a positive team culture. 

Clients, be they internal or external, are looking for more than just to fix the issue at hand. They are seeking relationships that can help them solve future issues as well. Basically, someone they can count on!


Using our Gifts and Experiences to inspire others

Years ago while at a utility conference I had the opportunity to meet Jim Morris. 


You may remember the 2002 Walt Disney film, "The Rookie.” Jim Morris’ life story was the inspiration behind the movie and Dennis Quaid starred in it. To motivate his struggling high school baseball team, the then 35-year-old schoolteacher made a bet that he would try out for the major leagues if his team won a district championship. 

Miraculously, his team won the district championship and Morris went to a tryout where he threw 12 consecutive pitches at 98 mph. Three months later, he achieved his dream of pitching in the majors, where he struck out All-Star Royce Clayton. What does this have to do with being a Mission Critical Communications Leader? 

During his life story, Jim took us back to his grandparents, who taught him a life approach he is committed to passing on. That approach is to mentor a pathway to success for the young adults that have been placed in his life. 

He does this by believing in each individual’s natural gifts for success, and using the philosophy of, if you are willing to do it, you own it. Jim shared stories of disbelievers he encountered during his life, which started with his father, peers and coaches. 

It took time for Jim to learn the difference between the dream, and how to achieve the dream. Jim credits that lesson to his high school students, who all earned college educations. If they had not held him accountable, he would not have realized his dream. 

This is where we can connect it to critical infrastructure leaders, who don’t listen to the disbelievers and achieve their goals while many are convinced the cards are stacked against them. The choices we make as industry leaders have an impact on the quality of life around the world. 

As Jim pointed out to us, the ability to lead is a product of our ability to learn from life’s challenges. That is what can make dream makers out of all of us. But as Jim also said, it won’t happen if we don’t ask “What if?“ and take a chance to realize our dreams! 

Learn more about Morris’ transformational message about developing a game plan for success and following a vision. 

Life’s challenges require leaders to lead, not by luck, but by using our gifts and past experiences to inspire others. That mentoring process helps to further develop our ability to have a positive impact in our homes, community and with those we work with. 

The Tait organization and the communications industry has benefited from this approach over many years. Our founder Sir Angus Tait is celebrated for developing the people around him and the industry as well. 

Former Tait CEO Michael Chick recalls, "Angus was an immensely determined yet compassionate man, a great innovator and mentor for so many. He was humble and curious; never seeking the limelight but never shy of making his voice heard if it would help business and education."

Angus would advise people early in their career, “Enjoy your work, learn as much as you can, upgrade your skills and aim high in your standards.” His legacy is widespread, in the company that bears his name, initiatives such as the Radio Academy, and the on-going long-term charitable funding for education.

Dr Yoram Benit, the CEO of Tait Communications, agrees with Dan about the pace of change and the need to share what we’ve learned in our careers and in life. “The challenges resulting from so much change make this a tremendous time to be working in critical communications,” Yoram says. “I feel fortunate to be working at a time when we’re able to take on good numbers of people in the early stages of their careers and to see the supportive relationships developing. And it’s not all one-way; there’s plenty that us older practitioners can learn from the world’s digital natives too.”   

In summary, leaders embrace challenges by building up and helping develop others. 

Leaders have a vision of the future, the ability to mentor others and demonstrate results.

—Dan Draughn, Tait Communications

Read the previous Tait Talks: New Zealand Manufacturing Facility Sets Tait Communications Apart

Dan Draughn, Director Global Solutions with Tait Communications, has decades of providing customer-driven technology and energy solutions to critical infrastructure operators globally.


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