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Martial Arts to Managed Services?

What teaching Martial Arts taught CEO and President of General Informatics about running an MSP

The Sensei

Sensei Monistere, as his students call him, discovered the secret that keeps his students committed to training at his dojo coming back for more, week after week, month after month, and year after year.  From day one, Sensei Monistere makes his expectations clear. He requires individual excellence in every class and settles for nothing less.  He demands this of himself and his students, and believes this is behind his success in the martial arts world.  As Michelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”  Sensei Monistere believes that setting the bar high empowers his students to both pursue and attain excellence.   

That realization led Sensei Monistere, the tough and gritty martial arts instructor, to be very serious about Managed Services in his more sophisticated, but no less demanding, “day job” as an executive in the Information Technology industry. Additionally, Sensei Monistere’s thirty-plus years of martial arts training offers many lessons to running an MSP.  

The CEO

Introducing Don Monistere, also known as Sensei Monistere. Don is the CEO and President of General Informatics, one of the fastest growing Managed Services Providers in the southeast. Much of his IT operations know-how stems from what he learned in 30+ years as Sensei Monistere. Monistere’s martial arts experience provided a more focused vision of the managed services market and the value of customer service.  

“My customers don’t expect our ‘best effort’ or a ‘good job’. They expect perfection,” says Monistere. “We know that in the IT industry ‘true’ perfection or ‘100% uptime’ with a customer base well over 400 strong is impossible to achieve. Striving for excellence is not. Excellence is not only attainable but expected from the staff at General Informatics every single day.”   

Don in martial arts uniform

Sensei Monistere, 2006

The Culture

One might think it’s cliché or a passing thought, but the GI team lives every day with a “Can Do – Will Do Attitude.” Every problem, error, or bump in the road is faced with the same mindset: “we can and will fix this.” The culture at General Informatics isn’t built on “this challenge is impossible” or “I just don’t want to.” Rather, it’s the opposite. The General Informatics culture is contagious and nothing short of excellence. Can Do – Will Do Attitude is more than just a phrase written down as General Informatics values.  It is an expectation from their clients, teammates, and of course, Sensei Monistere.  

Why do business in this fashion?  Because Monistere knows his customers deserve only the very best service available.  Further, if they do not find this at General Informatics, they’ll undoubtedly look elsewhere.  He discovered a universal truth about this business.  When a customer relationship is built on trust and mutual respect, you reap the rewards.  The loyalty and repeat sales are far more profitable than the often difficult and time-consuming pursuit of new business. As a result, commitment to General Informatics’ level of excellence in customer service is a non-negotiable requirement from his team.  GI’s customer service plan includes initiating programs designed to protect clientele from potential data- and time-loss.  How do you prevent potential problems before anyone realizes they exist?  Managed Services is the answer. 

The Right Candidates

Monistere is unwavering in his pursuit of individuals who share his vision to join him at General Informatics.  As a result, he looks for people who “fit” GI more than a person who has a particular skillset.  Monistere realizes individuals have unique gifts, talents and abilities.  But he says there’s one common thread shared by those who stay, both in karate and IT. Those who stay, train, sweat, pull muscles, and occasionally get both bruised and bloody on the training mat. They have a deeper drive and passion to reach their personal best, regardless of the cost.  

No amount of pressure from the Sensei creates that inner ambition to passionately pursue excellence.  No amount of cajoling from the boss affects real change in a person not motivated to achieve excellence.  This ‘it’ factor is cultivated in a person possessing the core characteristics, a solid work ethic, and the desire. But it can rarely be manufactured. 

If you are looking for an IT company that adheres to this level of excellence, give us a call. To all you IT folks looking for an incredible career, if you have a Can Do – Will Do attitude and you love a challenge, come join us over here at GI. But don’t cross the boss man — that dude knows Karate!  

Don Monistere headshot

MEET MONISTERE

Don Monistere, CEO & President at General Informatics

Don Monistere is an Entrepreneur, Published Author and Accomplished Executive.  

Monistere is the CEO and President of General Informatics and has actively grown its reach since becoming part of the team in 2020. As a result, General Informatics is one of the fastest growing IT services providers in the Southeast and is considered one of the leading IT partners for businesses, schools, and government agencies spanning the Gulf Coast. 

Involved in Information Technology since the early 90s, Monistere served as the CEO and President of Vista Information Systems from 1993 to 2008.  After that, he worked at TekLinks from 2008 to 2018, serving as the President the last two years before the company was acquired by CSpire. After the acquisition, Monistere continued to serve as Senior Vice President at CSpire until 2019 before serving at ibml as a member of their Executive Leadership team and Chief Operations Officer. 

The author of Enhanced Life Performance and Enhanced Executive Performance, Monistere is currently in the process of releasing Enhanced Corporate Performance, the third book of his series. 

Monistere has been an active member in the community with philanthropic pursuits with education performance in city schools and continuous contributions to the National Association of People Against Bullying.  

Monistere earned a Bachelor of Science in Management with a Minor in Economics from Southeastern Louisiana University as well as a Master of Business Administration from Aspen University. 

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