Started over 110 years ago in Chicago, Delta Star is an internationally recognized leader in their industry, manufacturing medium-sized transformers. Well-known in the Lynchburg business community, Delta Star’s Lynchburg site opened almost 60 years ago and continues to lead the way in innovation and employer best practices.
CEO Jason Greene is an avid LinkedIn user, and routinely shares sage wisdom and advice that he’s learned throughout his career. After reading through his ‘Day in the Life‘ post, we asked if we could sit down and ask him a few questions ourselves! As as a business leader in the middle of the pandemic, he shared some great perspectives on what we can learn during this time.
What has the last year taught you as a leader?
First, it has taught me that I am surrounded by real, caring, genuine people. People who are selfless and are willing to do what it takes to get through very adverse, volatile and unknown circumstances. Second, it has taught me that despite what the media says, the vast majority of people take pride in what they do and value the purposeful work they do every day. Last, but not least, that with the right team no amount of adversity can keep us from accomplishing our mission.
Personally, it has also taught me how dependent we are on each other. No one person can accomplish an organization’s mission or even come close. Not only is it necessary to lean on others, but it is immensely fun as well.
What do you see changing (if anything) post-pandemic (work and/or personal)?
Producing and delivering high-quality products and services, ones that enhance the way of life for those around us, is no easy task and one that is currently being jeopardized.
The recent pandemic, government stimulus and restrictions have introduced a dramatic increase for inflation on raw materials and transformer components for our industry. Because of these global conditions, we recently raised pricing to account for the inflationary reality. We could take shortcuts and produce cookie-cutter options, but as a company we decided against it.
I think the organizations that communicate well, remain open to different approaches and keep things as simple as possible will have the agility to succeed and best serve their mission field. Things like bureaucracy, division within the ranks and complacency that can set in as the environment stabilizes will not serve organizations well over the long haul.
Personally, I’ve learned to value time differently and better prioritize things throughout the pandemic. As we move into the post-pandemic phase, whatever that really means, I am committed to make the most of the time I have and not compromise on those things I deem as priorities.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a CEO (or leader in general) one day?
I believe that leadership really comes down to influence. We all have the ability and potential to affect and influence the lives of other people. To be in a leadership role or to be viewed as a leader is a great privilege, but it also comes with a great amount of responsibility.
A major lesson I’ve learned thus far throughout my leadership climb is that with each step I become more dependent on those around me. You inevitability know less about specific things, yet you become more responsible for these things…and much bigger things. It is such a privilege to be a leader, but you must surround yourself with the right people, people with character and integrity. People who are smarter than you. The leaders who last the longest and have the biggest impact on humanity are the ones who maintain a servant leadership attitude as they climb the ladder. It is so exciting to climb the ladder until you get to the top and look down. You better have people that believe in you holding the bottom of the ladder.
To learn more about Delta Star, check out their website and watch their video below!