Scott Tillery Describes His Role as a Process Improvement Engineer

Scott Tillery is an organizational behavior professional and successful business owner based out of Liberty Township, Ohio.

After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Jacksonville University, he went on to earn his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. With a career-long passion for improving business operations and performances, and developing leaders, he has been known to create a collaborative, productive, energized, and empowered work culture. As a Process Improvement Engineer, he has applied this passion both in his professional career and in his entrepreneurial pursuits.

Scott has founded several businesses over the years. His real estate business is his current entrepreneurial focus, but from its peak of six rental properties, the business has been downsized to allow Scott more time with his wife and three children.

Scott has also worked with several nonprofits over the years. He has served as President of the Board for Reach Out Lakota, a food pantry in West Chester, Ohio, and he helped found the Blue Thunder Foundation, a group that aimed to raise money for firefighting scholarships at a nearby tech school. In his free time, he enjoys exercising and plays competitive softball at a national level.

1. What do you currently do at your company?

My current role is Process Improvement Engineer. As such, I’m responsible for project and facility management, as well as for developing standard operating procedures and key performance indicators, and mentoring leaders.

2. What was the inspiration behind your business?

My inspiration was twofold.

First, I wanted to be able to provide folks with affordable housing. We were very passionate about that, and we were eventually able to turn that passion into opportunities for people who were down on their luck due to the housing crisis in 2006 to buy homes for themselves, through us.

Second, I wanted to find a retirement vehicle for myself, or some other way to help my family financially. We like to create win-win situations for everybody involved. If we can provide housing that’s affordable, be good landlords, and generally do things the right way while giving people a path to home ownership, that’s a big win for everyone.

3. What defines your way of doing business?

Collaboration, and a consensus-driven approach to success. I very much believe in measuring exactly where we are, because if you can’t measure it, you can’t approve it. But it’s essential to be collaborative throughout the entire process as well. It’s important to take in the voices of others, while also making sure that the facts support what you’re hearing. With these two facets in place, the facts and a strong collaborative environment, you can continue to improve things and make sure you’re moving in the right direction.

4. What keys to being productive can you share?

The key for me is to have balance, and to make sure that I’m in an environment where I’m helping others to be their best. There’s an energy that I get from being in an environment where folks are open and feel safe in sharing their thoughts and feelings and opinions, whether personal or professional, and working together to make sure that we create a win-win outcome for all involved. That environment and process energizes me, which makes me productive.

I like being able to measure that success as well, to make sure that all of us are getting the positive outcomes that we’ve been working for.

5. Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

My long-term career goal is to have a career in organizational behavior and leadership development. This has been a cornerstone for me as I worked in turnaround management operations in the past. I strive to create a safe environment for people to put their thoughts and feelings out there, and in doing so, I create an environment that is accountable and measurable, and one where leaders can grow.

I want to be able to take that and make it my primary focus, and specifically, I focus on how it applies to operations management. I feel that this is my strength, and it’s one area where I can leave things better than I found them.

6. How do you measure success?

I’m successful when I’ve helped others become better than they thought they could be. It all comes down to helping others. And it’s not just about giving, but rather, it’s about helping in a way that’s sustainable. I’m giving something that they can use and continue to use, whether that’s helping to develop someone’s leadership skills, or helping a company reach their next performance goal, or spending time to help a local organization in need. It can even be something as simple as spending a few hundred dollars every year on Toys for Tots, to help others have a better Christmas.

I take my blessings and I help others with them, and that’s success to me.

7. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

The biggest, most important lesson you can learn is that people are always going to be the number one asset in any organization. That said, another lesson that I feel is worth mentioning is that, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

8. What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

Make sure that you look deep inside your heart and ensure that whatever you decide that you want to pursue is a genuine passion and God-given purpose. Make sure that it’s something you want to do versus something you feel you have to do. Once you have that, make sure to put together a solid plan and seek counsel from those who have already gone down the path you’re looking at. Pray, get advice, and use that guidance to optimize your path.

On that topic, it’s important that you avoid the trap of thinking that you have to do everything yourself. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Instead, as I said, find people who have done what you’re trying to do, who you respect and whose values are aligned with your own, and seek their counsel. Learn how they did it. It’s very rare that you have to reinvent the wheel – typically, you just need to add your own unique touch to it.

9. What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

The number one thing is spending time with my kids and my family. Time goes by so fast, and I try to spend every minute I can with my family. Outside of that, I go to the gym regularly, and I travel around the country to play competitive softball. I think that gives me a good balance.

The faith aspect of things is the most important part of my balance, and I make sure I’m engaged with that. I enjoy the spiritual side of things. And then, of course, there’s our pets. As I speak, our dogs are right here beside me, either cheering me on or wanting attention for themselves- it’s sometimes hard to tell.

10. How would your colleagues describe you?

I think they would describe me as collaborative, a good listener, and a good communicator. I strive to be someone who finds it important to hear every voice and make decisions with a great deal of input, but who is decisive once all of that input is collected and considered. I hope to be described as someone who is approachable and kind, but firm and fair at the same time.

11. How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I believe that work is simply a part of life, to the extent that it’s impossible to really separate the two. Work is intrinsically aligned and engaged with your life. I think that it’s important to find balance in the things that you’re passionate about, whether it’s faith, fitness, family, mental health, or wellbeing. It’s all a piece of life, not a separation of it. As such, each piece has to have the right place, and be balanced by other things that help you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

12. What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

Definitely my iPhone. I use it to stay in contact, make and track schedules, do research, keep myself organized, take notes, and the list goes on. I keep notes on the important things I need to do each day, as well as on sermons that I have, and it helps me keep my perspective. There are also the basic functions that help me stay in contact and keep me connected to other folks that also energize me.

13. What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?

I think the hardest obstacle I’ve overcome has been the loss of my parents, and all that comes with that. It was the first time I faced something that I couldn’t just compartmentalize, put away, and move on from. It was the first time I’ve had to truly manage those sorts of emotions, because that’s not something you ever really get over.

14. What is one piece of advice you would like to leave our readers with?

I think it’s important to go out and follow your dreams. Find out what you’re passionate about and pursue that. People will try to talk you out of those dreams, but you have to look deep inside, look at what’s in your heart, figure out your God given purpose, and passionately pursue that.