Health of a business is often measured in terms of sales, productivity, efficiency and profit. It is not often we hear about leadership as one of the metrics of a successful business. In reality, leadership is the one factor that contributes the most to individual employees drive to succeed or to leave an organization. As author and business consultant, Marcus Buckingham has said, “People do not leave bad jobs. They leave bad bosses.”
What makes a good boss, though? That question piqued a conversation about what made leadership at my company, Preferred Technologies LLC (Pref-Tech), the powerhouse that it has grown to be. That powerhouse starts at the top with Shaun and Charlie Castillo. Charlie and his son, Shaun, founded Pref-Tech together in 2005. Charlie had this to say about how his son has grown to the leader he is today and why he is turning over the company to him:
“I could be very short and list only the positive points, the management classes attended, or even the business networks he belongs to or I can try to describe in words the journey Shaun has been through and how that helped shape his management style. I choose to do the latter.
“It is my firm belief that one is shaped by many things some of which are: family, principles taught at an early age, examples set by parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, successes and failures, education, strife and key internal battles. All these things influence who you are and therefore are the foundation of your being.
“I have been fortunate in that Shaun has been by my side for the last 43 years. I have seen his highs and lows and how much he has matured and grown as a human being. It took both success and failure to form Shaun’s leadership style. … When you combine life’s experiences with formal education, listening to peers, listening to employees, listening to business relationships and listening to family and see your role beyond you, then in my opinion you are on the right path to lead.
“Shaun’s leadership style is one of inclusion. Shaun may know the answer to a problem, but he is more interested in you knowing the right answer. Shaun is more teacher than anything else; however, he is not timid about making hard decisions. … Shaun is not a micro-manager. He delegates and holds people accountable and expects those who lead others to do so. Shaun understands how a successful business is measured and holds people accountable to those metrics while not losing sight of why employees work here and what they mean to the company.
“Shaun is my son and the one who eventually was to lead this organization as I step aside. My life is in this organization; what I am is in this organization; what I have accomplished professionally is in this organization. Therefore turning over control of Pref-Tech to Shaun was a major decision. I can honestly state that the decision was not hard to make.”
Charlie very accurately describes the leader we know here at Pref-Tech. Shaun’s leadership style does not stop with him, however. He leads with a servant’s heart, encouraging his leadership team and those in management positions to lead by the same example. It is because of that vision, employees take ownership of their piece of the Pref-Tech pie with pride and determination to succeed.
I have seen first-hand how my leaders have grown under this leadership style. It is rewarding to see the development of my coworkers over the years. Good employees leave organizations for a number of reasons: bad bosses and a lack of growth opportunities lead the list. Pref-Tech is a prime example of a place that people stay a long time, probably because of excellent leadership and the opportunity to continuously grow and improve.