What I’ve Learned: Scott Roos

What I’ve Learned: Scott Roos

Posted 6/22/2015


VP Product Design & Lighting Education, Juno Lighting; VP Marketing & Product Development, Alkco; Industrial Designer, Halo Lighting

Giving is the biggest form of gratification.  If you give something or help someone you’ll receive more gratification than if you gave something to yourself.

Some of my best inspirations have come while taking a walk during lunch, meditating during an early morning yoga class, or being on vacation or at a conference away from the day-to-day activities in the office.  The rational, thinking brain has limits, and when you give it a rest, you free your subconscious to automatically make creative connections resulting in fresh ideas and new approaches.

When you act on conviction you’ll be much more confident in what you’re doing and won’t be swayed by what other people are saying.

I have worked for three lighting companies during my 37-year career…one of them once, one of them twice and one of them three times; it’s a small, close knit industry so never burn a bridge.

Communication is the most important thing—supporting your partner.  When those things don’t work—when you stop communicating—then things generally break down from there.  You start growing apart.  Be sensitive to the needs and wishes of your partner, and share your needs and wants with them as well.

Early in my career I worked for a large and then a small lighting company.  The large company had more resources, well developed procedures and business processes and a design department with seasoned professionals, all of which I could learn a lot from.  Working at the smaller company gave me the opportunity to wear so many different hats and experience things that I never would have gotten a chance to do at a larger company.  And at each company that I have worked I found great mentors, and after earning their trust, they afforded me the latitude I needed and craved to be creative and take risks.

Speaking of risk, most of the successful projects I have worked on no one told me to do.  I discovered an idea through observations and connecting dots or because I was willing to truly listen to what to a passionate and sometimes eccentric, customer or vendor had to say.

One of the biggest gifts you can give you children is to help them discover their unique gifts and to love and value themselves for who they are.  This in turn will give them the confidence to act on their convictions and beliefs, even when receiving no external reinforcement.

Hire capable and motivated people; challenge them to move past their comfort zone, provide guidance and feedback at appropriate intervals and you will seldom be disappointed with the results.

Be kind.  It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.  Be kind to other people.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to take a weeklong class at the Center for Creative Leadership.  It was like holding up a mirror to my face!  I could see how my behavior was demotivating to my employees.  I was always feeling like I had to have the answer, or be a step ahead, always being the first one in— instead of expecting them to find an answer or bring something new to the table.  That was my big business epiphany [laughs], you might say.

Honesty and integrity are things that are really important.

While I can multi-task with the best of them, multi-tasking should serve as a red-flag that you are not giving yourself the opportunity to focus, go deep and get into the ‘zone’ to do something that truly adds lasting value for your business.

You won’t get ahead in your career without taking some risks. Be willing to look beyond the constraints of an assignment—go above and beyond what might be expected of someone in your job description or pay grade and, in a respectful way, don’t be afraid to bend the rules a little.


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