J. Ross Overstreet, 29, Pensacola

CEO/Founder Overgroup Consulting, LLC

Business Philosophy: Deliver unsurpassable value through every interaction.

College Experience: One day at the University of Georgia.

Definition of Success: Providing solutions to customers that enable them to beat their competition and achieve the success they desire. Creating engaging jobs through an organization and workplace that rewards our team and instills excellence in each person. Providing opportunities for others to advance and succeed and watching them grow. Working with the best and brightest to lift beyond our weight class and deliver world class solutions.

Role Model/Mentor: Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos.com, for developing an incredible culture that benefits their team as well as customers. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, for believing in “one computer in every house” before it made sense and changing the world along the way. Jessica Mah, 20-year-old founder of InDinero, for showing kids today that age doesn’t matter. If you have an idea, pursue it relentlessly and you will succeed. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple/Pixar, for the genius to understand how to design and build products down to the last detail and revolutionizing an industry.

Hardest Lesson: I started Overgroup in 2002 and have always said it has been my “college.” A lesson that stands out is about delegation. Early on I thought it was smart to delegate as many tasks as possible. I later learned the other name for this — micromanagement. Instead of delegating tasks, I learned to delegate areas of responsibility, but with the caveat that it should be to those who have a proven track record of success in those areas. If you don’t have anyone with the experience, don’t settle for less — regardless of cost. To grow,  your team should be better than you within their respective areas.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self? Position yourself to intern at a Fortune 500 software company, to learn how organizations function, and then start your own company with that knowledge and experience behind you.

Northwest Florida Business Growth: Expand the Gulf Coast Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, our local technology business incubator.

Categories: Rising Stars