Grooming IT Leaders at Barry Wehmiller (Video)


Craig Hergenreother, CIO of Barry Wehmiller, is preparing his staff to be leaders. His company has a living legacy of leadership and he’s serious about maintaining it with the IT staff.

“People are normally hired for their hands. We’re looking to engage their hearts and minds. If we treat them properly, we get that response for free. We’re already paying for their hands, let’s get the rest of it,” Hergenreother says.

“It’s grossly unfair to stereotype technical people as not being personable,” he adds. He believes the lack of “people skills” is the fault of their current leaders. IT people need to be groomed.

If you want a job at Barry Wehmiller, it’s not necessary for you to first be a leader. If you’ve got passion and understand the business, they’ll train you.

“We’ve got them captive for 40 hours a week,” says Hergenreother. We want them to go home fulfilled, and we want to make a positive impact. If we do that, it’ll come back to us in spades.”

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  1. A late comment.

    For almost 30 years I’ve been told the lack of “people skills” is because the hiring emphasis has been on “technical skills” regardless of the lack of personality, and “soft skills” of the candidate. Just as one cannot learn a technical skill if the raw talent is not there, one cannot learn people skills if the inherent talent does not exist. Hiring managers need to seek candidates with demonstrated technical ability AND a personable (?) nature; if a particular technical skill is lacking, teach the skill.

  2. I think there are a few factors here: Skills you have, skills you’re willing to learn, training environment company fosters. I’ve been researching what increases company morale and many people talked about training staffers. Some companies foster education, and others don’t. I’d definitely want to be in the former.