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Strengthening Leaders at Volaris 101

Some of our newest leaders tell us how training reinforced their knowledge of how to successfully operate software businesses

The latest edition of Volaris 101 wrapped up in Austin, Texas, with participants gathering from across North America and Brazil to learn best practices for operating software companies, facilitated by senior leaders within Volaris Group.

The sessions equip participants with a toolkit of knowledge that can be particularly useful for new leaders. One of the senior leaders who recommended the training to two of her newest leaders was Teresa Domingo from Volaris-owned Trapeze Group. She suggested the training to new General Managers Tim Bigwood and Michael Lester as a way to learn about the business model. She underscored the practicality of the examples provided at Volaris 101 that illustrate how to lead a business to success.

“With Tim and Michael being only a few months into their new roles, Volaris 101 lined up perfectly in support of their onboarding as new General Managers,” said Domingo.

Acquired Knowledge caught up with Tim Bigwood and Michael Lester to find out what these two new leaders gained from the sessions.

Tim Bigwood, General Manager, Trapeze Workforce Management

Tim Bigwood with Volaris 101 participants in the backdrop.

What’s your impression of Volaris 101 so far?

That I have a lot left to learn! To really dive deep and get hands-on with completing the examples and exercises offered in Volaris 101 has been an eye-opening experience for me. Very similar to the sessions at Quadrants, you come into the week and get served a lot of great information. The advice you get here is something you have to continually revisit.

As a new leader, it can be helpful to focus on one or two different nuggets of information. I intend to take that back to business, and then after that, bring in more learning opportunities. For me, it’s going to be a continual learning circle.

What have you learned from speaking with other attendees?

We’re all here and open to learn, and we are a humble organization. We can see here too that senior leaders are approachable. It’s tremendous for a new leader within an organization to be able to get exposure to senior leadership, and be able to ask questions directly.

What would you tell other employees who might attend Volaris 101 in the future?

The Volaris 101 “basics” are tried-and-true best practices, and they should continually be retaught. It’s not a “one and done” thing to learn best practices – as a leader, you need to continually revisit them. There’s value in these lessons even if you are not a new leader.

Tim Bigwood with Volaris CEO Mark Miller.

Michael Lester, General Manager, Trapeze Group Mobility on Demand

Michael Lester in between Volaris 101 sessions.

What has been your impression of Volaris 101?

I have been a senior leader in the software industry for more than 20 years. Compared to previous companies where I have worked, I see a lot more financial rigor. The Volaris approach strongly supports data-based decision making. Volaris 101 breaks down its best practices to a level of detail which helps leaders make decisions less with gut feeling, and with more depth to the data.

What have you learned that will help you with your job?

I learned the way that Volaris thinks about businesses. I made about 30 new notes for my to-do list, because these sessions stimulated ideas for how we could better implement processes and standards within our teams and the business. They were good reminders of how we can tackle fixable challenges at our business.

What has been your biggest lesson learned that you will take back to your business?

Understanding why we measure certain metrics in our system helps people understand how their role is connected to the bigger picture, and how they can influence the business. Bringing the “why” message and making it accessible to employees helps them connect to the business on a deeper level.

Michael Lester speaks on stage alongside Volaris CEO Mark Miller.

What have you learned from speaking with other attendees?

A lot of our challenges we face within our businesses are exactly the same. So it’s been really good to compare notes on how other leaders are approaching particular problems. Volaris 101 has helped deepen my connection to a professional network within the company where people are very accessible to each other for advice and consultation.

Would you recommend this experience to other people?

Absolutely. It's a great way to meet peers who are confronting the exact same challenges in their businesses. I made a note to myself that there are two people within my organization who need to attend this, as it will accelerate their understanding of why we do things the way we do.

Taking lessons back to their businesses

After Volaris 101, both leaders expect they will take their understanding of Volaris best practices to drive organic growth at their businesses and apply them to the strategic plans they are building. They also gained awareness of an internal database of best practices maintained by Volaris Group, which can further guide them as their businesses grow.

The positive feedback from both leaders comes as no surprise to Domingo, who has sent several leaders to the training in the past.

“Every leader that we’ve sent to Volaris 101 has indicated that it’s an excellent way to learn, understand, and reinforce how we run our businesses successfully,” she concludes.

Read more about past Volaris 101 sessions: