Katelyn Berkshire, Zeeland, MI. -- InsITe Business Solutions Inc. is excited to announce that CEO of InsITe, Mike Schipper, has been named a 2019 Most Valuable Professional (MVP) by Corp!
MVPs are making business happen in Michigan, serving their community, demonstrating strong leadership skills in growing and managing a successful business, becoming industry experts, and delivering lucrative business results.
A sit-down with CEO Mike Schipper
Q: Please briefly describe the nature of your business and your role in it?
A: InsITe Business Solutions is a technology company that helps small to mid-sized businesses and manufacturing companies get the most out of current and emerging technologies with a customized IT approach. We offer business technology strategy services, fully managed technology support, onsite server & networking support, cloud migrations & support, and technology training & adoption services. My role as the CEO consists primarily in setting vision and direction, maintaining key relationships, and building a winning and successful culture & Team.
Q: How do you define success in the business world?
A: With how quickly business is evolving, particularly in technology-related industries, I think success has a lot to do with how quickly we can adapt to change while at the same time maintaining positive culture and growth. I think success can be defined by longevity these days, how long are you able to sustain competitive edge and drive new innovations. It's one thing to reach a peak, it's another to stay there and continue to push all the rest.
Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your career, such as a decision you made or roadblock you overcame, that propelled you or your business forward?
A: Most of us have heard the saying "Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your business". My understanding of that was a pivotal moment for sure. Business success is never the result of one person putting in effort, rather it is a Team of individuals passionately working towards a common goal. Get the right people in the right spots, communicate the destination, then remove the shackles and let them create.
Q: What is the most important trait a leader in business should possess?
A: In my mind, it's selflessness. I don't believe you can be an effective leader unless you take the time to look after others before self. My favorite verse (relative to business) in the bible is Phillippians 2:3-4; "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves," "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others". Whether you are religious or not, those two sentences are key to success.
Q: What are the biggest misconceptions facing entrepreneurs, professionals or millennials in the workforce?
A: I think the biggest misconception is directly correlating relative capabilities with formal education, or lack thereof. I have bumped across absolute geniuses who never attended college, and I have worked with folks who are serious liabilities to their organizations who hold a master's degree. Yes, formal higher education is valuable and provides a great baseline of understanding, but truly effective individuals have a deeper understanding of how business (and life) works. There are people that possess skills and talents that simply cannot be measured or quantified with a degree - I want those people.
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing Michigan business leaders, and what is the solution to it?
A: At the moment I think it is lack of available talent. Our unemployment is at a historic low, and that makes finding new Team members with the right skillset very challenging. I think the easiest way to address this gap for me, in the short term, is to enable flexible working schedules and locations. I cannot directly control tax incentives, nor the movement of populations in and out of our state, but I can control how/where my employees can work. By enabling a completely mobile workforce (where feasible), we significantly expand our candidate pool. Not all industries can do this, but most of them can do it to a certain degree. A little help can go a long way.
Q: What advice would you give to someone just embarking on his or her career?
A: I would tell them to ask more questions, and never stop learning from others. It is amazing what we can learn and how many friends we develop when we care to ask questions, then stop and listen. The fact of the matter is that most people really just want someone to listen, and many people have some very interesting insights to share! If you make life and business about others first, spend time to ask questions and listen, your safety net will be strong and that will allow you to take the risks necessary to make a difference.