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Name: Steve Minnick
Title: CFO/Business Owner- Retired
I am now 74 years old, currently retired, but am in the market for a remote part-time position - I would like to work until I am 85 years old. I am a US citizen and live in South Carolina. At 10 months of age I contracted Paralytic Polio and now have to use motorized means to get around.
I started my working career in retail home center sales from working on the floor to Assistant Store Manager in 6 years. I then relocated and started working for a Public Accounting firm. As I had an Associate Degree in English Literature, I had never taken any accounting courses, so I took accounting, finance, and business administration courses at night while working full time during the day. I went to University for 7 years taking every course they offered in the accounting, finance, and business administration. I became the Senior Auditor for Governmental accounts before I left to become a CFO and Partner in a small growing residential construction company. While working there, I obtained a Real Estate Broker License and an Associate Degree in Computer Science. That was the beginning of a long career as a CFO, Business owner, and as my work was in all types of construction for various construction companies, I also became the Director of Project Management. With a partner we purchased a small Construction Accounting Sales and Consulting business. I became a Certified Software Consultant for several software suites and in 5 years we grew the company from less than 50 active clients to over 500 active clients.
I was forced to retire from active work in 2010 due to mobility issues. The we next day I formed a company to help small start-ups and small businesses with their business plans, structure, accounting, and even interviewing prospective staff.
Up through 2022 I held several remote jobs, even obtaining a Health Insurance License.
That is my brief bio.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
1) clients and customers.
2) finding the right people to hire.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I am a natural leader. Having had Polio has helped mold me into a caring, intelligent, and, I hope, wise person. As I could never out run anyone growing up, I learned very early to always listen with Intent, not just hear, and make friends even out of enemies. I have always been able to sell myself easily, because I learned to Know Me.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am definitely a "morning person". I am an early riser and always liked to be at the office before anyone else. As a result of having Polio, I also have PPS, Post Polio Syndrome. What that means is I have a full glass of energy in the morning but as the day progresses I have less energy and my energy glass does not refill itself. I structure my working days to start early and work hard until 5:00 pm.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I always worked with two philosophies: Treat employees honesty, ethically, fairly, with personal attention. I promised each employee that I would teach them and makevthem more knowledgeable to advance in their field if they left my employment. Both of the above make for a harmonious, proficient, successful, and very productive work place.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. While not a book like Zig Zigler's "Embrace the Struggle", also an excellent read, Tolle helped me to find and embrace me. All of Tolle's books are slow reads with hard to understand concepts, they are very enlightening. They require several readings.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
First and foremost - Discover yourself to Know yourself. This is extremely important because you have to control yourself and be happy with You. Secondly - treat everyone with respect and care. Third - Learn to Listen with Intent. Fourth - have high standards for yourself and your fellow workers. Be Honest and have high Ethical standards.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
In 50 years of work, I only had 1 employee who worked directly for me leave of their own volition. When I asked the employee why she was leaving she told me the following:
She was engaged to get married. Her fiance had seriously dated one of her fellow co-workers and the co-worker had become first wanting to get closer to her (so she could keep tabs on her ex). After being rebuffed in this endeavor, she then worked hard on her co-workers to isolate the lady leaving. I immediately asked for both to come to my office to try to ease the situation and to get harmony back in that department. After meeting for 3 hours I finally gave up. I accepted the resignation and the next day I fired the disruptive employee. The day after I fired the disruptive employee, I called the remaining employees, in that department, to the conference room to discuss the situation and the environment in their department. I asked each of them if they could work together and all said yes eagerly. A week later I fired another employee who was truly disgruntled over my firirng of her co-worker.
That episode cost me a lot of time and energy. I asked an employee who worked in another department if he would be willing to transfer to the problem department. He agreed and his task was to lead the employees so we would have no further disruptions.
That taught me an expensive and valuable lesson. From then on I found a leader for each department and never experienced that problem again.