Episode 21: The Man Behind the "Mike" with Christine Lewis and Mike Sipple, Jr.
We’re changing things up a bit this week on the Talent Magnet Institute podcast to give everyone a special opportunity to know more about Mike Sipple Jr. and his almost superhero-like ability to connect thought leaders with other key leaders.
We have gone long enough not knowing about Mike’s career origin story, and we have Chris Lewis throwing the questions to get a sneak peek into the mind of a second generation President and what it took to get him to where he is now.
- Mike is the second generation owner of Centennial, a talent strategy and executive search firm. He has been working for the family business for almost two decades and has served as its president for 3 years and 9 months - and counting.
- As it turns out, Mike has a lot of things to share with us other than his guest’s story, business strategies, and the key takeaways from their conversation.
- One of the most interesting things about Mike’s career origin stories is that he initially wanted to become an architect. Meeting with real architects, however, gave Mike the foresight he needed to choose a different career path instead – so, he went to school to become a landscape architect.
- But how did he end up joining Centennial if he had wanted to do landscape architecture? As it turns out, Mike has a gift of building intentional relationships and absolutely loved connecting people.
- Despite being the son of the head of the company, his career in the family business wasn’t laid out mainly because they didn’t anticipate his knack of finding the right people who fit the right opportunity. Mike is what people in the industry would call “a natural.”
- Mike was driven to improve this skill and was intent in learning more to help mold him into an effective leader. He and his father signed up for the Goering Center for Family & Private business program not knowing that Centennial would be transformed into a family business. He has had some incredible business mentors including Ron Brown, Jean Lauterbach, and Lynne Ruhl.
- That program was instrumental in laying out the foundations of their family business and creating the kind of culture that continues to thrive to this day. When asked what his considerations were before he joined the family business, Mike said, “Don’t let your parent’s or grandparent’s choices define you, you need to define you – your life is your responsibility.” To be successful one must be in tune with who they are and focus on ‘their’ best and not what everybody else insists is best.
- Throughout his career, he managed to deliver stellar results for his clients and their organizations simply because he pairs his skills and passion for people with the client’s business goals.
- Which is why it’s important to understand that strategic planning, intentional communication, and active listening are all necessary for companies regardless if they’re a family business or a traditional business.
The conversation was nothing short of insightful and Chris notes the two secrets to Centennial’s success as a family business: Receptiveness and respect -- simple words that deliver great results. With Mike being the amazing leader that he is, it would have been easy to keep the interview going for hours and hours and hours, but we can save the rest of the story for a later time. Hopefully, this was enough to give you a good idea of the things you didn’t know you needed to know about Mike Sipple Jr. and his contributions in the global community as a second generation President.
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