At Adam Bryce we like to flex our recruiting muscle by taking on challenging and different roles. We recently assisted our client, Johnson Controls, in placing Casey Yates, as Vice President, Channel Sales in the HVAC Ducted Systems business. Casey taught us a lot about the HVAC industry, and we were excited to ask him a few questions about how things are going.
You have spent your career in the HVAC space. What innovations, technology disruptions or trends have you found most interesting as of late?
The HVAC industry in the US has seen ductless products grow at a rapid rate due to ease of install and application flexibility. This technology has also penetrated the traditional ducted business that most American consumers are familiar with today. This allows for better comfort, constant temperature, and improved humidity control. Smart thermostat technology such as NEST, Ecobee and other proprietary brands are exciting. Regulation changes that are upcoming in the next few years will continue to force brands to be more innovative around increased efficiencies.
Someone once said, “leadership is hard and inconvenient”. It is in difficult times that our leadership skills are most honed. Have there been any leadership lessons that you have learned in the challenging times we are currently in?
My priority is always keeping my team and customers informed, and to not get lost in a day to day firefight. Ensure you have a plan to get your team out of challenging times and create a strategy based on key lessons learned. Tough times can bring teams together if managed correctly, and typically do not come with a set strategy.
As a new executive to JCI you recently participated in a completely virtual onboarding process. What were some of the positives of joining the company in this way and what advice would you give to leaders taking on new roles in this unprecedented time?
The first thing I learned about virtual on-boarding was you don’t have to have in person meetings to make life changing decisions. I have coached my team that just because we can’t travel doesn’t mean we are less effective, and we should take advantage of virtual meetings. My first week I setup 17 one on ones with my leaders, and peers! I feel on-boarding virtually actually allowed me to immerse myself faster. I would challenge anyone taking on a new role to embrace virtual meetings, always have your camera on, meet with people you haven’t met in person before and don’t be shy to tell someone kids are in the house and might join the meeting! I have not met a JCI employee in person through the entire interview process or first 6 weeks on the job, and it doesn’t feel odd at all.
What are you most looking forward to in this next chapter of your career with JCI?
JCI possesses a great engineering legacy and the employee culture of the company is outstanding. Leaders are genuinely thankful for the efforts put forward by their teams and communicate that frequently. The reason I came to JCI was the ability to create a strategy for growth across Residential and Commercial to gain industry share and I am fortunate to have a talented team that can drive this growth. We are already having fun being disruptive, doing things we haven’t in years and looking at how we can align our growth goals with those of our distribution channel.