Education: Degree in finance and marketing, Southern Illinois University
What has been your greatest business lesson?
I think that, in our industry, customers are demanding continual improvement, so they’re not happy with the status quo. So, we’ve learned in our company that just doing a good job for a customer isn’t good enough. The job has to be continually better.
How do you handle failure?
That probably hasn’t been one of my strong suits because I am a perfectionist. I hate failure. But, I think we have to learn from it. When we’ve had failures, we need to go and fix them. A lot of times, they are very costly, but we need to learn from them so we don’t repeat them. To me, the biggest thing in having a failure is, did you learn from it so you don’t repeat it again? If you didn’t learn from it, and you repeat it again, that’s not acceptable.
What advice would you give someone who is a perfectionist?
It’s taken me awhile because, typically, you want to point a finger at somebody and blame somebody for the failure, and that’s certainly one of my weaknesses. But, the bottom line is, you can’t change what happened. You have to understand why it happened and get it fixed and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again. If you don’t learn from it and it happens again, that’s really a bad situation in my view.
Shear on helping employees understand your mission and values:
Keep it so that people can focus on it. If it’s too complex, for example, if you have 12 values, that’s great, but no one can remember 12 things, so, it never gets focused on. If you have a mission statement that is two pages long, that’s great, but no one can really focus on it.