Coming up on his first anniversary as SBP Holdings’ vice president of business development, Pete Haberbosch knows the value of working together and listening to his team. BIC Magazine recently spoke with Haberbosch to learn more about the company’s plans for growth through acquisitions and his thoughts on effective leadership.
Q: What led to your position at SBP Holdings?
A: The first 20 years of my career was on the manufacturing side. I held roles in engineering, manufacturing, sales, global operations and sales management. I was able to travel the world and learn about a number of different businesses and cultures, but I came to a point in my career where I was looking for a change.
I reached out to a number of mentors, including Don Fritzinger, who was the president of Singer Equities. He shared with me the business of industrial distribution and the diversity of the role of general manager. In May 2014, I began by managing one of the platform businesses: Hampton Rubber. Our team functioned well in a challenging market and realized success. Soon I was given responsibility for a second platform business: Summers Rubber. Most recently, in January 2017, I was promoted to my current role at SBP Holdings as vice president of business development.
Q: Do you have any plans to grow/ expand SBP Holdings through acquisitions and mergers?
A: Yes! One of the key focal points of my role is to ensure the distributors in our markets know about our group. We see many businesses in our space where current owners may want to exit in the future. We also see businesses that would like to expand but don’t have the capital to do so. Our group has been and plans to continue to be a great partner for these businesses, and we enjoy having those discussions.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
A: “Iron sharpens iron.” It is my favorite because it reminds me that we are constantly molding and sharpening each other. It reminds me that being around leaders and others who have similar values helps me continue to develop. It also reminds me that every moment I spend with one of our employees is an opportunity to sharpen and be sharpened.
Q: What’s your biggest lesson learned?
A: Be relentless in developing the team, and get out of the way. Like many leaders, I spent much of my life trying to do it all myself. It took too long. However, I finally realized that “success” happens through sharing the mission, developing the team, keeping them informed and letting them run.
Our company has always been big on promoting from within; however, we wanted to add even more focus. To support this, the presidents of our vertical businesses — Sam Petillo and Harold King — are creating a new leadership development program to help identify and develop our future leaders.
Q: How do you maintain a good work/home life balance?
A: I travel extensively and do whatever it takes during work days. That said, the time I spend with my kids is 100-percent dedicated to them — “dad time.” I stay off my phone and avoid work during those times. This has been an evolution for me, but I do feel it is crucial. I want to work hard, bring energy and continue to develop our team, but I also want for my children to know how important they are. These things are achieved by how I act, not what I say.