Synergy is spotlighting some of our new Synergy members to help you get to know them a little bit better. We asked each new member some questions so we could learn more about them and their business. Check out below to read all about Mike Gallagher with Robert Gibb & Sons!
- What originally got you interested in your current field of work?
The Gibbs hired me to transition their company from three generations of family ownership to the next phase of its life. Preserving the legacy of service to the community is very important to them. That’s the kind of challenge that gets me up in the morning.
- What do you love most about what you do?
I love working with a team of high performers who want to be the best. My job is to remove obstacles that may prevent continuous improvement of our processes. Many people do not have the drive to improve. Hire for character, train for competence is an important part of building a good team.
- Who inspires you?
My wife recently celebrated ten years of sobriety. Kris has been very active in Alcoholics Anonymous spreading the message that there is a better way to live. I have immense respect for those working the program. It works, if you work it.
- What is your favorite thing about the area you live in?
The flatness. The green horizon and big blue sky. So flat that it causes people from other areas of the country to be uncomfortable. They say if your dog runs away in North Dakota you can see him from two miles away. That may be an exaggeration. Maybe.
- What is your most prized possession and why?
I’ve never been a guy with a lot of stuff so I would say my prized possession is my old Toyota Tundra. We have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles in all kinds of weather making memories. When you have to drive the 990 mile Western Swing of North Dakota to play a hockey team in Sydney, Montana, you appreciate a good truck. It’s old but at the end of the day it’s not the miles on the truck that matter: it’s the miles on the man.
- What charity or cause are you most passionate about?
Recently I have supported a local non-profit helping homeless families transition into permanent housing. When a homeless family gets a new apartment they have shelter but they don’t have the comforts of home. “Down Home” stages their apartments with donated furniture. This organization tries to provide dignity to kids who sleep on the floor.
- What is the best thing you got from your parents?
My father is an entrepreneur and is always working on a new business idea. Some have failed and some have flourished but he has always considered them a success because he tried something new. I inherited that same gene, probably tempered by the experience of growing up under that stress. I have failed in business. I call it my PhD from the School of Hard Knocks. If you are not failing occasionally, you aren’t pushing the envelope of your abilities. That’s where growth takes place.
- What have you learned as a business leader since the COVID pandemic?
I have learned that our habits can change quickly if necessary. What would have taken years, maybe decades of transitioning to video conferencing happened in a matter of weeks. Everyone is a Zoom meeting expert now. It just confirms my belief that “because we have always done it this way” is a terrible excuse to resist change. Anticipating and preparing for change is more important than ever.