As a company grows, the company’s leader often needs to change their leadership style. By Sam Keller TEC 62 Chairman Business researchers have long known that there is a business lifecycle. Here is what the lifecycle looks like. Stage I: Start-up The Idea The business starts with an idea of the founder – a product […]
Author Archive for: skeller
About Sam Keller
Sam has more than 25 years of leadership experience in manufacturing and engineering operations. He has served as a president and CEO for three companies and as Executive VP for a fourth. He brings a team-oriented approach to revitalizing companies by creating a shared strategic vision built around each individual's contribution.
Known for his knack for building high-performing management teams, identifying new profit opportunities, and balancing long-term solvency with near-term cash flow and profitability, Sam's business successes include:
• For a $25 million manufacturer of auto fueling equipment, expanded revenue and profits through new product introductions and continued innovation, and grew international sales in South America and Asia. He also reduced material costs by 20 percent through product redesign and supply chain management in less than three years while maintaining and in some cases improving quality.
• Restructured and renewed a $17 million manufacturer by reorganizing sales, marketing, and finance and installing control systems to ensure product quality and build competitive advantage. He returned this highly leveraged private equity owned company to financial health by reducing inventory and accounts receivable by over $1 million. Sales increased from $17 million to $25 million in two-and-a-half years.
• As division president for a large durable consumer product manufacturing company, increased sales by 40 percent as a result of building a separate sales representative organization that focused on products marketed to retailers. He established his own engineering department located at the plant rather than at company headquarters that significantly shortened the product development cycle and improved communications between engineering and manufacturing. Working closely with his management team, Sam also laid out a strategic plan that would see sales triple in five years.
• Sam holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School with a focus in manufacturing. He also holds a Master of Science degree in engineering mechanics from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University, which he received with Highest Distinction.
Sam Chairs TEC 62 in the Madison area
Entries by Sam Keller
Personal growth is the single most important thing that will affect your future. Jim Rohn, deceased motivational speaker said, “Success comes from growing bigger than the problems and obstacles that surround you”. By committing to growth, you will attract success. Since personal growth is something you can influence, you are the major key to your […]
Which is Better to Lead a Family Business How to tell an optimist from a pessimist: The optimist says, “Please pass the cream” while the pessimist says, “Would you see if there is any milk in the pitcher?” And of course we all know that the optimist sees the glass as half full while the […]
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, some argue conventional long range planning may no longer be relevant. As background, here are the elements of a traditional strategic plan1: Mission – why you do what you do Vision – where do you want to be Core values – what guides you Driving Force – What is […]
Generation X: Another Look Much has been written about the characteristics of members of the workplace generations that make up our workforce. The Radio Generation born before 1945 and now mostly retired The Baby Boomers born between 1945 and 1964 numbering some 75 million or 45% of the workforce, many of whom are beginning to […]
The Harvard Business Review Group on LinkedIn recently polled its members asking “What is the single most important quality for a leader to have?” The respondents to this poll were managers from various organizations at various levels. It is my opinion that the unspoken yet understood part of the question was “What is the most […]
The books that I have read on the subject of negotiation generally present the simple view that a negotiation is a cold, rational transaction usually between two parties. If the “price”, (which almost always involves more than just dollars) is right as viewed by both parties, the deal gets done. Similarly, when I was in […]
Why Dominating Leaders Kill Teams Dominating leaders tend to stifle creative ideas that might otherwise emerge from group discussions thus making the teams less productive. Francesca Gino is an Associate Professor in the Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. In the November 13, 2013 edition for “Working Knowledge” published by the Harvard […]
In the March 2014 edition of “Working Knowledge” published by the Harvard Business School, John Davis, Senior lecturer in Entrepreneurial Management discusses when to make a change at the top of a Family Business. Firing the CEO is never easy. It is a tough decision when the CEO is a “hired gun”, but this issue […]
This famous quote from Samuel Johnson is echoed in an article in the October 2013 issue of Working Knowledge by Michael Blanding, a publication of the Harvard Business School. Mr. Blanding reports on work by Harvard Business School Professor Joseph Badaracco, who has taken a closer look at the concept of struggle in a business […]