The Why Behind Tier4: Servant Leadership

As we approach Tier4’s 5th Anniversary on March 1st, we thought a blog post by our founder and chairman would be fitting. Here’s a story behind, Why Jake Sherrill founded Tier4 Advisors.

by Jake Sherrill, Founder and Chairmen – Tier4 Advisors

A mutual friend referred me to a COO at a company because his peer, the CTO, had a team that was buried with workload. He wanted his “engineering team to do engineering, not vendor management.” We scheduled some time to chat over lunch at Ra in downtown ATL. Sushi for lunch? I’m there! I arrived a few minutes early and reserved a table for 3. I sat and waited, and waited, and waited for what must’ve been 20-30 minutes.

I finally called the COO and asked where he and the CTO were. He said, “Oh, sorry, I can’t make it, but the CTO should be there any minute. He just left the office, and it’s only a few minutes walk to the restaurant.” I said okay, but just so I knew who the CTO was when he arrived, I asked what he looked like…a pretty basic question.

The reply is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, because it solidified, “The WHY” behind the founding of Tier4, using the tenets of “Servant Leadership.” The COO replied, “Oh, you know, he looks like the typical IT guy, who’s about ready to jump out of the window of a high-rise building because he’s so stressed out and overworked.” That was his response. I thought, How sad is that? That’s how he left it.

Oddly enough, when the CTO showed up, I was able to pick him out of the crowd. We sat down and had an extended lunch. The CTO went on to tell me about his entire life, including how he and his team were doing double or triple duty, practically a 24/7/365. They needed all the help they could get. We ended the lunch by agreeing on a number of projects Tier4 could help him with, and to my surprise he began crying, in-person, man-to-man, at the end of our meeting. Tearfully, he expressed another statement I’ll never forget. As he cried, I put my hand on his shoulder, and the CTO added, “You’re a godsend, you’re literally saving my life here.”

He said, “I have no time for my wife, no time for my kids, no time to research all the things that need to be purchased for my company. I’ve been afraid lately my wife would leave me if something didn’t change soon. This is the change, I’ve been praying for…I can’t tell you how much, I need what you guys do! Thank you so much!” Wow, what an impact that had on me and only a couple years into this Tier4 journey.

I didn’t found Tier4 to be the next unicorn startup. I didn’t found it to buy a private jet or a beach house. I founded Tier 4 Advisors to help others. As a Sherpa who literally and figuratively sits on the client’s side of the table (to offload stress, workload, time, and sleepless nights), who guides IT professionals through mission-critical projects. Transformational projects that if done correctly, get the IT team a friendly pat on the back and if done incorrectly, can result in entire teams being fired and stock prices dropping.

My Dad taught me, give away as much as you can, and you’ll receive more in return than you could ever imagine. #Tier4Advisors #ITProcurementRedefined #Blessed

Tier4 Blog Edition 29: February 28, 2018