For Michael Lages, the numbers never lie. Numbers help hold employees accountable, they help make decisions, and, when they don’t add up, they tell you it’s time to go back to the drawing board. While the numbers may never lie, Lages also understands that it’s the employees who ultimately determine the success or failure of an agency, so make sure they have what they need to succeed. Read on to learn more about Michael and why he never ignores red flags.
Name: Michael Lages
Company: Delta Outsource Group, Inc.
Length of time at current company: Two years
Length of time in industry: 15 years
How did you get your start in the industry
I came out of college in the middle of the recession in 1993 and took the first job I could get — a commercial collector for a small local firm.
What is your career highlight so far?
Getting my certification in Lean Six Sigma in 2011 and my MBA last year. Then buying a piece of Delta Outsource Group, Inc. and working with my partners and employees to facilitate real growth. I do love growth.
When or how are you most productive?
I am most productive in the morning.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Jackie Mucha, because she has put up with Jim Peacock for so long. I am not sure how she does it.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I have strengths and weaknesses like everyone else. So I don’t think there is anything I do better than everyone else.
What do you like most about this industry?
The people. It is such a diverse group of Type-A personalities.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The lawsuits. We need judicial reform and we need it fast. The only ones that win in lawsuits are the attorneys. I understand that all industries have bad apples, but the number of frivolous lawsuits that are filed is unbelievable. And in the end, the attorneys get rich.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I was out of the industry for nine years in a corporate treasury and controller role for a manufacturer. So I would probably go back into that.
Describe a typical work day.
Review the numbers, hold employees accountable for those numbers, put out fires, and spend time in meetings. I go into every day trying to figure out a way to give my employees all the tools they need to do the best job that they can.
What is your guilty pleasure?
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t ignore the warning signs when dealing with employees, colleagues, or superiors.
What are you currently reading?
“Fear: Trump in the White House” by Bob Woodward.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I am a numbers guy. If the numbers don’t add up, then it is back to the drawing board.