On July 28, the PESA Emerging Leaders Committee hosted its Executive Address with PESA Chairman Saeid Rahimian, President & CEO, Gardner Denver Energy Group. PESA members and customers gathered at TopGolf as Rahimian shared his insights on leadership, which come from more than 30 years of industry experience.
Rahimian began by talking about what it means to be a leader and the importance of strong leaders in both our industry and our country. He believes a leader should inspire others through action and lead by example. A true leader possesses integrity and understands that management is doing things right but true leadership is also doing the right things. As a young adult, Rahimian faced many challenges including language barriers, immigrating to the US, putting himself through college and then relocating across the country.
“I had to find ways to survive and I got through that period, but I did a lot of odd jobs,” stated Rahimian. “Thinking back on it, that made me a much better person today because that is how you can connect with people who have to work for their living, when you understand how difficult it is to make it from one day to the next.”
Early in his career, Rahimian developed an integral relationship with a mentor who shared his industry experience and taught him the “secret sauce of the business”. Starting on the ground floor, Rahimian learned the ins and outs of the company from engineering and troubleshooting to faulty applications and customer service. After a few years, he relocated to California and was quickly promoted to the role of general manager where he led his first successful acquisition. New to a leadership role, Rahimian realized the value of a strong team that is supportive not just in good times but also through difficult situations.
“I learned the importance of relying on a team instead of thinking I could have all the answers myself,” said Rahimian. “My advice to you is to continue to improve your skills and to learn everything you can about your team, your company, your division, the industry and outside the industry. There should never be an age where you stop learning.”
According to Rahimian, successful leaders are authentic, value integrity, lead from every angle and put the interests of others first. Leaders possess empathy and social skills that provide them with the ability to connect with different people from different cultures and backgrounds. By finding common ground, leaders create engaged teams that are perfectly aligned and committed to reaching a common goal. Rahimian stressed the importance of developing trusted relationships with colleagues and encouraged attendees to utilize all networking opportunities to cultivate those relationships.
This event, the twelfth in its series, was sponsored by Gardner Denver and Lucchini Mamé Forge. Following the Executive Address, PESA members interacted with leading industry executives over friendly and competitive rounds of TopGolf. Attendees from more than 50 different companies took a swing at the highest individual and team scores. Congratulations to Rocquee Johnson, American Block, Rich Vigil and John Snyder of Gardner Denver and Mike Vaughan and Brad Gorden of LoneStar Group, on the highest team score and Rocquee Johnson, American Block, on the highest individual score.
See the event photo album on Facebook.