Continuous Improvement

Serving as the CEO of PROMAX Systems, Jess Hartmann is in a competitive industry.

Providing high-end servers and workstations to the media and entertainment sector, PROMAX was one of many technology companies competing in the Orange County area. It was an industry where the technology was rapidly evolving each year, and just keeping up with the competition required constant innovation.

It was within this context that Jess met Think Shift Chairman Dr. Balaji Krishnamurthy in 2009, when Balaji spoke to his Vistage group. Balaji's ideas about continuously and intentionally developing your own leadership struck a chord with Jess, who was very familiar with the continued development needed to keep his own company competitive.

Jess attended Think Shift's L3: Leadership = Leverage + Legacy workshop in the spring of 2010; there, he connected strongly with the idea that intentional leaders are the driving force of growing companies. Over the course of the intense, three-day workshop, Dr. Balaji Krishnamurthy challenged Jess to analyze his own leadership style and the direction of PROMAX.

“The L3 experience has changed the way I run my company," Jess said after the program.

"From clearly understanding the roles of a leader, to creating significant leverage through my own personal leadership agenda, I have changed the way I lead forever.”

Jess brought his Leadership Agenda back to PROMAX systems, where he delivered it to his staff and colleagues, using his intentional energy to drive PROMAX forward. PROMAX has since introduced products such as the PROMAX ONE+ in 2013, a high performance workstation for video editors and specialists and the PROMAX Platform, which allows for portable mobile editing. The company also recently acquired Cache-A, a provider of networked video archives. They are devoted to continuous improvement and innovation.

Outside of improving the products within his company, Jess constantly sought to continue his own development. Between his tenure at L3 and today, Jess has introduced Think Shift to many members of his community, going as far to serve as an executive sponsor to our 2012 Seven Secrets of Successful Leadership workshop. He continues to champion the idea of intentional leadership, driving through to an intentional culture, to his partners and to the greater community.

In 2012, he attended Think Shift's inaugural Beyond L3 seminar, a program offered once every three years to L3 graduates who wish to plan the next steps for themselves as leaders, and their companies.

There, guided by the Think Shift team (which included Think Shift's current CEO, David Baker), he was among the first participants to thoroughly revisit his leadership agenda and refine his techniques for teaching others, both within PROMAX and in the greater community.

 “Balaji is an amazing individual," says Jess.