Shander, the CFO of Red Hat, Inc., is the most recent speaker in our Coffee with Leaders series. He stopped by the Chamber on July 25 to share what he has learned in his experiences moving up the corporate ladder.
A CPA and an MBA, Shander spent 21 years at IBM Corporation and four years at Lenovo before joining Red Hat in 2015. Even prior to his arrival at Red Hat, Shander said he had his eye on the company.
“I looked at Red Hat and watched them grow up,” he said. “It’s always been a company I’ve admired from the outside.”
Shander said that part of the appeal of Red Hat was the company’s strong support of North Carolina. “Our headquarters are here and we are going to stay here,” he said.
Much of the success has to do with Red Hat’s open culture, Shander said.
“At Red Hat, it doesn’t matter what title you have, everybody has an opinion,” he said. “If I’m in a meeting and people disagree with me, they’ll say it. For me, that is rewarding.”
Shander continued to talk about the merits of the open culture at Red Hat. “It’s a mindset that has enabled us to be a lot more agile in getting things done,” he said.
Red Hat’s values include freedom, courage, commitment, and accountability, Shander said. He told audience members about the important of the associate experience. “If our associates are happy and engaged, then it’s going to be a great experience and they’ll do great things,” he said.
Shander added, “Our folks work really hard and we are about the associate experience. The reason we do this is because we need the creativity and ingenuity from our associates. If we can’t offer a great experience, people won’t come to the company.”
He closed by talking about the importance of not only loving your company, but also loving your specific role. “I love my company and I love my job,” Shander said.
We want to thank Shander for sharing his great insight. We also want to thank our series sponsors, Duck Donuts and Duke Energy.
This was the fifth event in our Coffee with Leaders series, which is meant for companies with 50 employees or fewer. Our next Coffee with Leaders event will be on Sept. 18, Coffee with Natalie Perkins and Jeremy Holden. Perkins is the CEO of Clean and Holden is the company’s president, chief strategy officer, and partner. A registration link will be up soon on our events page. We hope to see you there!