It’s time to meet SageGlass team member Chuck Hayes, who was hired in 2002 as the company’s 18th team member. Since then, Chuck has been directly or indirectly involved in hiring most of the current 250-person SageGlass team.
Q: Walk us through your typical day at SageGlass.
No two days are the same. I wear four very different hats: providing leadership to human resources, purchasing and intellectual property, which is particularly important since our technology has 562 patents issued or pending. I also wear the legal hat for SageGlass.
One of the big ongoing projects I have is building the organization. When I joined the company 14 years ago, I was team member number 18. I helped move the organization from being an R & D shop to a fully functioning business that delivers hi-technology.
One of the cool things I get to do is hire people. We’re very deliberate about the culture we’ve created. Early on at SageGlass, we identified aspects of the positive culture we wanted – things like respect and collaboration, and a bias to take action. We started with a plain sheet of paper and asked what’s important to incubate new technology and to get the best from everyone? Culture exists in the interaction of people, so you have to find good people – people who fit that culture. It’s my job to bring talent to the organization to enhance the environment we’ve created.
Q: What qualities do you look for in potential employees?
We’re looking for passion. If someone’s just looking for a job, the economy is pretty good, so you can find a job. Passion is bigger than a job, and we need to recognize that SageGlass’ mission is bigger than ourselves. When you join SageGlass, you will join a collective group of people who are going to change the world and do something that matters and can be measured on a global scale. People are going to register this in different ways. When passion comes out, you know you will have someone who will pay attention to details, collaborate, and be open and willing to grow.
Q: What else do you look for?
We want team members who are willing to be vulnerable with information. In other companies, a kernel of knowledge is equated to power; knowledge is not power at SageGlass; knowledge is responsibility. If you know something, you have the responsibility to know who needs that information and get it to them. At other organizations, employees don’t typically ask who needs this information, but, rather, how can I use this?
Q: What excites you the most about the future of the dynamic glass industry?
It goes all the way back to why I left a promising career to go join this “science project.” The promise of the technology was huge! Now, in my career, I want to work for significance and work for things that will make a difference. The sustainability aspect of SageGlass is huge and will be huge for generations to come. When you look at job creation, there’s no one here working by the sweat of their brow; everyone is a knowledge worker. That’s sustainable manufacturing!
We create opportunity for everyone when creating a new tech space. There is unique technology coming down the pipeline, and I want to be part of turning that into something real –facades of buildings and sustainable cities.
Stay tuned for our next Sage Advice Q & A!