Jaime Westenbarger is the Director of Sales for Bluebird Roofing in Nashville, Tennessee. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated in the field of business and marketing. After graduation, Jaime Westenbarger worked in finance and insurance for more than 20 years. He is an experienced entrepreneur and has been involved in sales through his entire career. He is currently living in Brentwood, Tennessee, with his family and is enjoying the warm weather of the state.
Learn more at: http://jaimewestenbarger.com
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I really love being able to take a situation that can be very emotional for someone and making it less taxing on them. For instance, when a client is caught in a storm where they have experienced a loss, which is a confusing and intimidating situation, I am able to help them cope. I can take the unknowns out of the equation and help them understand what their insurance is going to cover and help them understand the steps to take to get their home back the way it used to look before the damage occurred. I always aim to help eliminate some of the stress in the situation. I think it’s rewarding to help someone when they’ve had an unfortunate situation and bring some semblance of normalcy back into their life and eliminate some of the stress they are going through.
How do you motivate others?
I have learned through the years that there is not really a particular way to do that. Leaders a lot of times make the mistake of thinking that everyone else thinks like they do. If they are motivated by financial gain, they may think that their team will be motivated in the same way, and they may actually alienate a team member. But they may have someone on their team that is motivated more by spending time with their family, having a flexible schedule, or perhaps by being given public recognition, rather than a financial reward. You may even be overpaying someone, thinking you are treating them right, when in reality they may be looking for another job because you don’t ever let them work from home. You might even save half their salary if you gave them the working conditions that motivate them. We need to realize that everyone is motivated differently. We all have different things that are important to us. Good leaders understand what those things are for each of their teammates.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
My dad was very much a role model for me. He unfortunately passed away a couple years ago. He suffered from a lot of health issues his whole life, but he remained probably the most positive person I have ever met. If most people went through half of what he went through, they would have thrown up the white flag a long time ago. He just plugged along and was a very happy and content person even though he had a lot less than many other people. That has helped me to maintain a level of positivity and optimism. He had a lot of reasons to be angry at the world, but he consistently chose not to be and to find the silver lining. He was also a really kind person who cared for people without being a pushover. However, he could definitely put his foot down and be tough as well when it was needed.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
When I get home, there definitely comes a time when work is shut off. The work phone goes in the drawer. I maintain a pretty consistent schedule of off time. When I’m off, I am off. When you are working, you really should be putting your efforts into your work. When you are not working, you owe it to your family and the people close to you to actually not be working. It’s healthy to have a time that you do not answer emails or respond to phone calls. It can be helpful to have those lines in the sand to maintain your personal life and your personal relationships.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
I would say just get really educated. Don’t rely on some of the old ways of thinking or the “tried and true” methods. There is so much new innovation and new ways of doing things that are coming out that are superior to the ways they were done in the past. Coming into this fresh without that background gives you the opportunity to be the most educated, up to date, and to be a real asset to your customers because you are aware of new opportunities that may exist for them that an older person may not keep up on.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
One of my early mentors told me that if you work every day to help the people around you to achieve their goals, your goals will be met without a problem. If you are helping the people around you, my rewards for that will come on their own. If I take care of people, the end result is people see that and will let other people know.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I am a bit of a jokester. I am slightly sarcastic. I enjoy my time with my family and friends. I love to travel. I think it’s awesome to visit other cultures and learn about other people’s history.
You might find me every now and then doing a little open mic standup. I was a semi-finalist in West Michigan’s Funniest. I have a few jokes up my sleeve.
Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
I had a guy who worked for me straight out of college, and he had very little work experience. He was pretty terrible at being able to talk to people. He had the internal knowledge to be really good at the job, but he just had a hard time being comfortable around people. My proudest day was, after a couple years of working diligently and encouraging him to take some public speaking classes, when he became one of the top people in our company and even eventually went out and created his own business and was very successful. I feel like I had a little bit to do with that.