Lean Blog — 456: Jake Stiles on Lean Executives, the Recruiting Landscape, and a Coming ”Compensation Correction”

CEO of Stiles Associates

Episode page with video, transcript, and more

Joining me for Episode #456 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Jake Stiles, CEO of Stiles Associates.

For nearly three decades, Jake has played an instrumental role in growing Stiles Associates from a niche recruiting agency to the premier Lean executive search firm in the country. 

He’s helped transform client organizations by placing top talent across a wide spectrum of industrial segments including manufacturing, consulting, healthcare and professional services. 

As Lean and continuous improvement have spread from factory floors to hospitals, financial institutions and beyond, Jake has continued to build ties to thought leaders and increase Lean’s scope at the most innovative institutions. 

As a result, he’s served as a member of numerous industry associations and boards – including the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership (GBMP).

Disclosure: Stiles Associates has been a sponsor of the podcast since the start of 2021.

Today, we discuss topics and questions including:

  • How did you first get introduced to Lean?
  • Brought Art Byrne into Wiremold as CEO
  • Looking for 80% personality / 20% technical??
  • “Not settling… always pushing, but bringing the team along” — emotional intelligence 
  • Tips for being successful in a new environment?
  • Transformational executives? Does their experience translate? 
  • Operating vs. transforming – how to evaluate beyond a willingness to lead it??
  • Search process similar to the transformation process — understanding the current state and the issues… what problem are you trying to solve? Iteration with the client
  • Jumping across industries — in particular Manufacturing to Healthcare? Key success factors?
  • How are you counseling hiring companies in a very competitive market?? Candidate-driven market?
  • Advice for how to work with a recruiter (as a candidate) vs. applying directly for a job?
  • Compensation “correction” is coming??
  • Is accepting a counteroffer always a bad idea? 
  • Differences in working for a public company vs a PE company?

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network