As DMC’s President and Managing Director, Michal Jezioro is certainly deserving of the spotlight. He has years of experience in the industry, and was able to share some particularly interesting insights into what makes a mining services company as good as it can be. We interviewed the CEO and discussed the strategies that drive him onward, elements of good business and effective leadership ideas.
Michal’s personal philosophy for delivering the best work and providing effective leadership is the 20 mile march. This comes from Roald Amundsen’s race with Robert F. Scott to reach the South Pole. Scott’s strategy was to go as far as possible when conditions allowed, while Amundsen’s strategy was to cover the same distance every day.
Amundsen’s approach enabled him to beat Scott to the South Pole by a month, and return safely to the base camp. Michal believes this mentality is important for leading a company as well as executing projects. You cannot wait for conditions to be perfect. You must push on regardless.
Even with the right attitude, best practices and processes still need to be followed. Proper procedure and workflow need to be practiced from the start of a project. As DMC possesses a niche in the sector, we can’t allow negligent practices or carelessness. Prevention comes from following established methodologies such as EPCM (Engineering Procurement Construction Management) which keep an organization prepared to deliver flawlessly.
Staying on track and accountable is critical. An undesirable situation for any Managing Director is when projects are tempted to rapidly pursue success at any price. It might be possible to achieve faster schedule, but Michal feels that rushing mining construction projects is not the optimal solution and can lead to unsafe working conditions, and unexpected issues.
Combining best practices with a 20 miles per day mindset is also useful for trying to effect change in a company. Trying to change everything at once will invariably create chaos. When change is led by small and attainable steps, they’ll add up over time – it’s essential to view change as a gradual, continual and ongoing process.
In communication, one of the most important things is to stand for what’s being said. A successful team can’t go 20 miles a day, maintaining a good performance, and then start to rush once the pressure hits or circumstances change. For DMC to deliver value, be predictable, dependable and commit to what we discuss with clients, we can’t overpromise.
The best position we can have is if we ensure we communicate with clients honestly. Our reputation and the quality of work we deliver are the most important things to build – and this is what we point to as our proof of performance – to build trust with clients and fuel our success. Having this open communication allows us to work with clients more effectively, and be honest when we feel something could jeopardize a project. This mantra has been set out from the outset at DMC Mining Services and is filtered down through each department within the company.
Eventually, the success or failure of a company comes down to how it manages its most important resource: its employees. In mining, people make all the difference between success and failure. In other industries, processes may exist that can minimize a few weak links in the overall operation; in mining one bad decision at a critical moment can create endless problems. So the right people need to be in the correct places.
Communication is key to being responsive and effective – and the way we communicate with our people is most important. When project changes occur, the relevant people at every level need to know. Without proper communication, staff may feel disconnected and changes will seem illogical or be poorly understood.
Our team leaders also have the ability to take ownership and show flexibility with how they engage a project. In some of our recent projects in Sudbury, critical thinking and on-site decision making helped us save our client’s time and money by finding more efficient solutions. These ideas aren’t for DMC’s benefit, and may actually reduce our scope of work – but create what Michal calls ‘healthy savings’: where corners aren’t cut and the client benefits.
Michal believes DMC is an example of a great mining services company. We have the right people and equip them to deliver their best. Our leadership views the growth of the company as a continual and ongoing process. Whether we communicate internally or externally, we do so with integrity, honesty and transparency. We act diligently and continue to pursue our 20 miles a day.
There’s no magic method for building a strong company or good reputation. DMC is lucky to have possessed a healthy culture over its many years of existence, and some of the best people in the industry. When it comes to success, there’s no exceptions. We simply have to put in the time.