How Scott Moorehead used his own training experience to become a better leader at Moorehead Communications

Scott Moorehead saw his future and it was freaking him out. He was only 17, but his parents were already talking about the day that he would take the reins at Moorehead Communications Inc.

“I was all kinds of scared,” Moorehead says. “I showed up to work the first day and I had no idea what to expect. It was pretty nerve-wracking to be honest.”

His parents started the cellular retail business back in the early 1990s and opened their first store in Marion, where the company’s corporate offices are today. They were sure their boy was up to the challenge of one day leading the business. They were a lot more confident than Scott, as it turned out.

“Being that young and not really understanding much about business and management and watching the company grow from afar knowing that I was going to be the heir to the throne was more pressure than I was willing to deal with at the time,” Moorehead says. “From afar, you just think, ‘I’m it. I’m the guy. Everybody is screwed if I stink at this.’ At least, that’s what you think.” Fortunately for Moorehead, his parents saw something in him that they knew would one day serve him well as president and CEO of the 830-employee company, which does business as The Cellular Connection. And so they set out to develop that potential, one day at a time.

“The big part of that was I was never given too much, too soon,” Moorehead says. “You’re unaware of it at the time, but as you look back, you kind of see what the plan was. It was always enough for me to handle. Enough to keep me challenged, but enough to handle. As I kept getting more and more responsibility and learning new aspects of the business and seeing it from different angles, I continued to succeed.”

The experience gave Moorehead a wealth of insight into what it takes to develop leaders and how to do it with the right mix of support and constructive criticism. He took over as president and CEO in November 2008, and in 2009, he led the company to $191.2 million in revenue, the company’s best year ever.

His training taught him that developing an individual to lead is about determining what drives that person to overcome challenges and fear and then presenting a path to achieve success.