To Success


Chad Kaleky conducts an interview with Gary Pudles on his podcast "Failing to Success" on Jun 12, 2024. The discussion revolves around Gary Pudles's success after overcoming challenges at Answernet. The information shared about Answernet is derived entirely from this podcast episode.

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Gary Pudles

AnswerNet has successfully integrated multiple acquisitions to expand its services and client base.

How did Gary Pudles With Answernet Grow Their Business?

Company Stats

  • Founded: 1998 (roots tracing back to the 1920s as the Western Union Telephone Answering Service)
  • Revenue: $65-$70 million annually
  • Employees: Approximately 1,500

Episode Highlights

  • ✅ AnswerNet has successfully integrated multiple acquisitions to expand its services and client base.
  • ✅ Gary Pudles highlights that employees in the call center industry value security and recognition more than monetary compensation.
  • ✅ The company's core values, represented by the mascot Pat the Fat Duck, emphasize passion, attitude, teamwork, and kindness.

Episode Summary

In this episode, Gary Pudles, CEO of AnswerNet, discusses the company's growth strategy, which includes both internal sales and strategic acquisitions. Generating between $65 and $70 million annually, AnswerNet employs around 1,500 people. Gary emphasizes the importance of people management, maintaining core values, and making quick, balanced decisions. He shares insights into the challenges and opportunities of operating a large call center and BPO business, highlighting the need for employee security and recognition. Gary also talks about the pivotal moment when he bought out his partners and investors, leading to significant growth.


00:00 Intro

00:10 Company Stats

00:39 Growth Through Acquisitions

01:46 People Management Strategies

05:55 Decision Making and Core Values

07:51 Core Values

10:38 Connect with Answernet

Notable Questions We Asked Gary Pudles

What has been the impact of acquisitions on AnswerNet's growth?

Acquisitions have played a big part in our growth strategy. We've grown through both internal sales and acquiring underperforming companies, bringing them into our platform to help them grow.

What are some key aspects of people management you focus on?

It's important to learn from people at every level and keep arrogance out of the equation. People in call centers want security and recognition, and it's crucial to treat them with respect and appreciation.

Can you share a pivotal moment that significantly changed AnswerNet's trajectory?

A major change was when my partners and I split, and I bought out all the investors, going out on a loan. Since then, we've tripled the size of the company from 2015 to now.

How do you approach decision-making in the company?

My decision-making process involves considering if it makes economic sense, aligns with our core values, and its impact on people. It's a balance between making good business decisions, considering people, and staying true to our core values.

How did you develop and implement your core value system?

In 2007-2008, we brought in Vern Harnish and implemented the Mission to Mars approach. We identified core values by recognizing the characteristics of people who represented the best of our company, leading to the creation of our mascot, Pat the Fat Duck, symbolizing passion, attitude, teamwork, detail-oriented, good communication, and being kind and likable.

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