Scott Moorehead | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Scott Moorehead


Scott Moorehead has been president and CEO of Verizon retailer company TCC, based in Carmel, since 2008. Moorehead co-founded The Moorehead Family Foundation, now known as TCC Gives, which has donated more than $2 million to philanthropic causes. He is also President of Friends of IU Health, which raises money for adult life programs in the IU Hospital Network.

The Mistake:

I didn't define company culture.

When you’re head of a company that is ultimately trying to scale and grow, there’s different phases of scaling and growing. I’ve talked to peers in my industry about how they grew so fast and quickly. We all agreed – and we use the term lightly – that you grow it until you break it. I found that out the hard way a couple of times.

There was so much growth that people were stressed out. I was not growing the back-office processes as fast as the frontline employees and staff. Once you start to grow out and get big, you start to lose what’s very special about how you got there in the first place. It was a problem I saw once and then saw again.

I said, “How do I stave this off so it doesn’t happen again?” The first time it’s not your fault. The second time you’re like, “This is on me. How can I have this not happen a third time?” Ultimately, I was trying to define what made the company special and how it was able to grow and get larger. If you can capture that and get each person in the organization at a gel point that keeps everybody focused on what you’re trying to accomplish, that is what you can build the culture around.

Corporate culture is really what gels a company together. It can be used as your ally as you try to scale up.

The Lesson:

I didn’t know anything about corporate culture. I didn’t learn it in school or under mentors or bosses. I thought culture was when you learned about art – knowledge about stuff I didn’t necessarily care about. Corporate culture is really what gels a company together. It can be used as your ally as you try to scale up.

I started off by overcompensating and trying to do things that were fun and because they were kitschy, they were sort of flash in the pan. I tried to do Funny Mustache Friday and different things. To be perfectly honest, we were turning ourselves into a circus to make sure people had fun.

The goal was to keep that family-owned feeling, that certain feeling where everybody has your back. It gives you pride that helps you make good decisions and work and play hard at the same time. It becomes harder and harder the bigger the company gets.

I said, “It’s not working. I want people to have the same passion I do. We’re capable of so much more – better sales, better customer service, being a better staple in the community.”

It just sort of smacked me in the face like a ton of bricks. I walked into (Pastor) Ryan McCarty’s church. Talk about your what equaling your why. He was talking about the same issue in a different context, but I was very easily able to apply it to our workplace.

I know what people show up for: a paycheck. That’s pretty simple. But why do they show up and what keeps them there? Is it the same in everybody’s heart? You have to align all your whys and gel everybody around it.

That was really the genesis of where the culture of good started: to align everybody to give something more than the mundane core details of what we do everyday. This business is bigger than all of us. Let’s be very proud of that.


Follow TCC on Twitter at @tcctalk.

Pictured is Scott Moorehead. | Photo courtesy of TCC.