In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief Lauren Lawley Head speaks with Charlie Orr, CEO of Canada-based Immunotec, about servant leadership, authenticity and being a lifelong learner.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being Immunotec’s CEO?
CO: Being with field consultants and our employee colleagues in all our markets.
DSN: What are the characteristics that make an Immunotec Consultant successful?
CO: While there is no single way to do the business, our top leaders tend to do certain things that lead to success. First, they tell their own unique, inspiring story regularly. Then, they focus on others daily—they’re servant leaders. Related to that, they build a team in order to help others, and they work the business system as a team. They keep it fun and simple so that it’s duplicable and shared every day. They’re genuine. They stay true to who they are. And finally, they’re lifelong learners who are committed to personal and organizational development.
DSN: What do you tell Immunotec Consultants to lead and inspire them?
CO: It starts with the home office team being present with them. There is no substitute for being in the marketplace. When you are in-market, fully engaged and being yourself, listening, having fun with your colleagues, these are the most important things you can do. I’m sure they remember what we say, but our physical and emotional support makes the most impact. There’s no such thing as spending too much time with the field.
DSN: What insight did you bring from your experience as the Executive Director of Direct Selling Education Foundation that has been most useful to you at Immunotec?
CO: I had so many wonderful experiences that it’s impossible to choose just one. When I was in the DSEF I had the privilege of meeting great executives and volunteers from many DSA member companies. Every day I encountered new ideas and insights, from coast to coast and around the world. I saw so many companies and people building their businesses really well, as well as companies working through a rough patch. It was like earning an additional master's degree in terms of understanding our business model and how dynamic and rapidly changing the environment can be when you’re inside a company.
DSN: What do you value most about the direct selling model?
CO: The fact that it’s people centric.
DSN: What is your vision for Immunotec?
CO: For Immunocal® to be the nutritional choice on a worldwide basis.
DSN: Is there one basic principle that governs your leadership at Immunotec?
CO: Everybody is treated fairly, with respect, with love.
DSN: What project or accomplishment do you consider to be the most significant in your career?
CO: I don’t think about what I have done; I think about what we do. When a company gets the partnership and collaboration really working well between home office and field, there’s nothing better that can happen to you in this business model. I see that as a collective accomplishment.
DSN: When you’re not at work, where are you most likely to be found?
CO: With my family.