President and CEO Bill Whistler has gained a tremendous amount of experience, as well as respect, in the industry. From working odd jobs to working his way up to his current position at Shook Construction, he truly has seen it all. These experiences have not only prepared him for whatever life throws his way, but also helped shape him into the leader he is today.
What inspired you to get into this career?
My dad first sparked my interest in the business when he enlisted my help in projects around the house. There were a lot of hands-on construction projects to do, so I quickly learned that way. Soon, that interest expanded into architecture as well. I went off to University of Cincinnati and became a co-op at a company called Shook Construction.
Briefly describe your career path to date.
It’s been a long and winding road. From working odd jobs, such as taking out the trash and picking up mail, to becoming a quantity surveyor then making my way up to CEO, you could say I’ve tried it all. You can never have too much experience though!
Construction can be a challenging business. Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?
A tried and true method is to plan the work and work the plan. This approach has helped me to adapt and overcome when the unexpected hits the fan—and the unexpected is inevitable. Each day presents a new problem, so you need to be ready to face it, even if you’re unsure what ‘it’ is.
What are the most important qualities of a leader?
There are a handful of them. A leader needs to be trustworthy, approachable, and decisive. I’ve also learned how important it is to be a good listener. Listen to your team and what they have to say. Having a different perspective on things can be incredibly important when you need to solve a problem.
What does safety mean to you?
Everything…all you have to do is live through handing a new widow her late husband’s car keys to understand why everything means everything.
Who inspires you?
My wife…I got nothing on her 🙂