A former Home Depot exec shares the career advice he’d give his 25-year-old self
by Catherine Rice
Brad Shaw, has a simple piece of advice for young professionals: “Take care of your job and your career will take care of itself.”
The former CCO of The Home Depot and co-creator of new podcast “Crazy Good Turns” encourages young people to stay in the moment.
“I firmly believe if you set out to be the best at whatever it is you choose to do and don’t spend as much time worrying about career planning and networking and all the other things which so many people do give advice on and which can take time away from being the best at what you do, you’ll be a better executive,” he told Business Insider.
Shaw said some of the best career advice he’s received himself came from Ted Waitt, the founder and CEO of Gateway and Shaw’s former boss. “I was just over 30 and had been recruited to run communications, my first big job leading a big, cross-functional team,” he told Business Insider. “Being in the C-suite at that age was pretty intimidating and I was a bit brittle when it came to criticism of me or my team by my colleagues, and it showed in meetings. Ted told me to relax, don’t take it personally, and focus on fixing what’s not working, and everything will be fine. It was.”
After 11 years as Chief Communications Officer at The Home Depot, Shaw retired in March of 2015, soon after his direct boss Frank Blake, the CEO. As CCO, Shaw had led the company’s media relations, corporate giving, and philanthropy, and with Blake, he developed “Crazy Good Turns,” which profiles nonprofit organizations and tells their unique stories.
“I actually still do a lot of informational interviews and try to help and mentor people as much as I can, and always have in my career,” he said. “It’s really important for me to do that as much as I can.”
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