I meet Buck Jones, CEO of Pegasus Technology Solutions, for cocktails at the Cowboys Club at The Star in Frisco. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the Dallas Cowboy’s outdoor practice fields and a side room overlooks their indoor practice field at Ford Center at The Star: the only NFL training facility in the U.S. that’s shared with a public high school program (Frisco ISD).
We sit in “Quarterback Corner” where life-size depictions of Roger Staubach, Don Meredith, Tony Romo and Troy Aikman look down on our conversation.
Pegasus Technology Solutions
Pegasus Technology Solutions is a tech company, an IT services firm that offers IT Integration, Professional Services and Managed Services. They listen and learn their client’s business and design the right technology solutions that deliver business value. Locally, they have accounts ranging from SMB to large, enterprise companies.
However, what’s really interesting about Pegasus’ charming blue-eyed CEO is the company culture he’s nurtured and how he used it to grow his business from zero to a revenue of $20 million within two years.
“I’m a people guy. I love people, I really do,” Buck shares as he sips his beer. “Early on I said culture and growth are equally important but about a year ago I changed that to culture is the most important thing. If you get the culture right, the growth will follow.”
So far, it’s working. Pegasus Technology Solutions was born at the beginning of 2015 when Buck Jones set up shop at Granite Park in Plano with a team of four (himself included).
“I told my team, ‘If we can do three million in revenue at a 12 percent margin we’ll be just fine,’” he says. “We ended 2015 with nine people, almost 10 million in revenue. 2016 we ended with 15 employees at almost 20 million revenue. We are now at 23 employees and will continue to grow.”
Today, the company has 23 employees and is prepping to move to a new office at Hall Park in Frisco, a project by Craig Hall. “I love that office park,” he says. “The trees, the walking trails, the art: it’ll be a great place to work.”
The role of Buck Jones, CEO, Pegasus Technology Solutions
According to the Corporate Finance Institute, “The CEO is responsible for the overall success of an organization and for making top-level managerial decisions. He can ask for input on major decisions but is the ultimate authority in making the final decisions in a company.”
And while that, of course, is true, Buck Jones takes a more people-orientated approach. When I ask about his role as the CEO of Pegasus Technology Solutions, Buck lists off six items—it’s clearly something he’s put time into thinking about.
- “I set the vision,” he says. “I own the vision, but I’m not a dictator, it’s very collaborative.”
- “I empower my people. If I’ve hired the right people, they want to be empowered to do their job. I don’t want them to have to come ask me about ever little thing. I trust them to make the right decision, but if they make a wrong decision, no problem we’re gonna move on. If you’re not making mistakes you’re not taking enough risks.”
- “I hold them accountable.”
- “I get out of their way.”
- “I hire well.”
- “And, I set the right culture.”
“It’s very simplistic,” he adds.
Pegasus Technology Solutions and the right company culture
At Pegasus Technology Solutions, the culture is all about caring. Caring about the job and the profit margins, sure, but mostly it’s caring about people.
“Setting the right culture is making sure that everyone knows that we really care about them and their families and their lifestyle, about them as a human being,” he says as we order a second round of drinks.
It’s clear that Buck’s culture of caring revolves around two key pillars: trust and listening.
Buck Jones trusts that his team will do their job. “We don’t have a punch the clock mentality,” he says. “I don’t care when they get to the office and I don’t care when they leave. When you say, ‘Hey, I trust ya, they’re there at 8 am, ready to go.”
Buck Jones shows he really cares by listening. “They say, ‘One thing I love about you, Buck, is that when I come and talk to you about something you act on it and you act on it quickly.’ I think that’s important because when you minimize what they tell, well, it’s just a job at that point.”
They even start the week with a listening circle. “During our Monday management meetings he asks about us,” Shannon Whitehead, director of marketing at Pegasus shares. “He asks, ‘What’s your status update? How do you see the office culture? How’s your team doing? How are you doing? What’s going on in your personal life?”
“I’ve never had a leader who is that plugged in and interested in every employee,” adds Shannon who joins us for a glass of wine.
We spend nearly two hours at the Cowboys Club at The Star in Frisco; it’s just one of those places you don’t want to leave. We get to know Buck, we get to know Shannon. It’s not just an interview. For example, Buck’s brother is married to the daughter of a mutual family friend and Shannon’s little boy was born just four days after mine. Getting to know people is just the way Buck does business. It’s the way he treats his employees, it’s the way he treats his clients and it’s the way he treats a random journalist he’s meeting for the first time.
As we say goodbye, they insist that we meet up again for drinks soon. We hug and I know that they mean it.