The art of survival through multiple changes in ownership
Posted On June 30, 2023
If you work in the corporate world, the potential for a transfer in ownership of your company is a fact of life. Surviving a change in ownership is not a given.
Surviving several changes of ownership? That may be considered a talent.
Our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” has done just that. Matt Peat is Vice President of Sales for Transhield, which makes custom wraps for boats, military vehicles and industrial equipment. Its products can be made to order for clients like boat manufacturers or the military, and they’re also available in universal sizes at retailers like Amazon.
While the company is a leader in its field and its product is in use all over the world, Transhield has been bought and sold several times since Peat joined the company in the mid-1990s. One of those transactions even sent Peat to Norway, where he helped its new owners try to replicate its production operations in eastern European factories.
How has he managed to stay with the same company for so long, through so many changes in ownership?
Peat has a few ideas:
- Never stop learning. Stay on top of industry trends and trends within marketplaces you want to enter.
- Be present and available. When opportunities arise, be ready and able to seize them.
- Visualize the future. Have plans for where you want to be in the next one, three and five years. But know that they’re going to change.
Peat isn’t the only employee who has stayed with Transhield, which is now owned and headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana.
“We’ve created a family-oriented culture where we work hard, play hard,” he said. “I’ve had opportunity to leave. I also am a slow and steady (person). There’s no quick win. There’s no guaranteed lottery in the world of life. But there is a guarantee that if you put your head down and work hard, good stuff will happen. … Hard work pays off and you just continue grinding.”
Peat also credits the leadership at Transhield, which has maintained a culture of taking care of its employees throughout all the changeover in ownership.
“(Job-hopping) doesn’t resonate with me,” he said, “but I also have been treated fairly every step of the way.”
Now Peat is trying to help Transhield add some team members, particularly in sales for the industrial marketplace. And he’s finding a different sort of challenge: Aligning the expectations of potential hires with the realities of the workpalce.
“It’s different than when I was doing this and looking 15, 18 years ago,” he said. “The dynamic has changed.”