Meet the CEO: Mike Sheehan

The head of IntelliCentrics Inc. sees business as a battlefield.

By the time he was 12 years old, Mike Sheehan knew three things about his future career: he’d start by pursuing something in sales, his ultimate goal was to become a CEO, and he wanted a foreign assignment. After graduating from the University of Indiana, Sheehan took a job with Honeywell, selling maintenance agreements. In 2004, he joined IntelliCentrics Inc., part of Taiwan-based VTC Electronics, a multinational security corporation. Today, the 44-year-old serves as CEO of the company, and has a residence in Taiwan. Check, check, and check. IntelliCentrics, which is based in Flower Mound, provides credentialing services to healthcare and other industries. It has had five consecutive years of triple-digit compounded annual growth.

I’m a native of Chicago.

My wife Linda and I have two children: Jack, age 14, and Emma, age 12. 

First Job: 
Mowing lawns. I did that for about six years.

Worst Job: 
I cleaned pools in Chicago. It was hard work. But cleaning my bedroom to my mother’s standards was even harder.

Best Part of Current Job:
Being on the front lines and fighting the good fight for our employees and customers.

Overcoming Obstacles:
We didn’t use the recent economic downturn as an excuse. We were growing 300 percent through the downturn. I believe that business is a battle. We make the bold and difficult decisions every day. It was stressful to grow then, because everyone was saying the end was near. 

Growth Opportunities:  
We will grow by continuing to create. What we have done well is to architect and build our future. 

I have the ability to go from visual to tactical at a moment’s notice. 

The mission for us is to reach our full potential, and one of my strengths is a commitment to doing that, My weakness is failing to realize that everyone doesn’t share that goal. 

Management Style:
I am always going to compete with my managers, with the underlying belief that they should whip my butt. They’re the experts. The goal is to provoke them. They win when I surrender, and I surrender when they beat me. 

=pq=Pivotal Moment: 
Three years into my employment here at IntelliCentrics, I was standing at a whiteboard telling our chairman how something was going to work, and my egocentric approach hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that I’d stopped learning. I had become that guy who says it’s going to work this way because that’s the way it has always been done. I paused in mid-presentation, turned to the chairman and said, “I owe you an apology. For three years I have been pushing my agenda and not learning.” 

Dining Out: 
I pick the restaurant based on the wine list, not the food.

Leisure Time: 
Besides wine, I’m a part-time photographer. And these days, it’s all about my kids and spending time with them. 

I have three things on my nightstand: The Prince and Other Writings, by Niccolò Machiavelli; The Culture Code, by Clotaire Rapaille; and the Breguet watch catalog. I don’t own one of the watches, but in my mind, I’m a collector.


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