Local Leaders Share Their Tips for the Next Generation of Business Leaders


Photography by PROVIDED

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

With business experience comes a great deal of wisdom, and those who have been in business for any length of time can tell you that learning always comes before success. So, to help get the next generation of business leaders set on the right path, Boise Lifestyle asked local leaders to consider their own unique perspectives and share their best advice for those just starting out.


Jared Cook

Regional Sales Manager, VP, Home Finance Division | Zions Bank

When I was in college, I attended a finance seminar with industry professionals. One speaker said something that deeply impacted me: “If you want to be successful, you need to outwork everyone. Work harder than anyone else and show your work ethic to those around you.” Over the course of my career, a strong work ethic has helped me earn the trust of my clients, my team members and managers. Through hard work, it’s been rewarding to help clients achieve their dream of home ownership while helping grow Zions Bank’s Idaho mortgage lending. By demonstrating a strong work ethic and always going “above and beyond,” you will help open doors in your career and position yourself for growth. ZionsBank.com

Maj. Gen. Michael J. Garshak

Adjutant General of Idaho and Commander | Idaho National Guard

There are many paths to achieving a life full of personal and professional rewards.  Service in the Idaho National Guard is certainly a tremendous way to set yourself up for success through education, training, leadership and the experience of being part of an amazing team serving a greater purpose.  Our world abounds with opportunities to make a difference – a difference in the lives of others throughout our communities, state, nation or even on a global scale.  The key is to develop and maintain a powerful sense of confidence and optimism in order to be well postured for whenever those opportunities may cross your path. IMD.idaho.gov

Joe Borton

Managing Partner | Borton-Lakey Law Offices

For me, I get to work early, 4 or 5 am is common.  I want to get work in while my competition is asleep.  It is how I developed the trait that will get you where you want to be (wherever that is): grit.  You will find it sooner or later because you have to learn how to survive and thrive.   You will fail and fall down; we all do.  When that happens, some complain, others get up.  Get up.  Celebrate that you do without excuses and drive on; that is grit that will bring you success (and surround yourself with folks who have it).  Until then, remember that you are better than nobody, and nobody is better than you. Borton-Lakey.com

Filip Vogelpohl

Owner | Boise Art Glass

With the rapid growth of the Treasure Valley, I believe it has opened many possibilities to start a new business fulfilling the many needs that continue to be in short supply. As you venture into decisions on launching your business, stay true to your mission and be ready to work hard. You may need to take risks, you may need to put it all on the line. People may even tell you you are crazy but if you believe in yourself enough and put forth all your energy you become unstoppable. BoiseArtGlass.com

Steve Steading

General Manager | The Warehouse Boise

“Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have learned much from each of my mentors along the way.  For me, the value of hard work is best defined in how you treat others with respect, ask a lot of questions and learn from others around you in the process.  This often leads to new connections or ideas that translate into opportunities to grow your mind, your skills and take on more responsibility.  It's also a great way to build rapport with others in the professional workplace, that may ultimately lead to lifelong friendships.” WarehouseBoise.com

Cody Weight 

President | Solitude Homes

As you build your brand, I want to share 5 important tips to brand greatness and success: 1) Be ready to forgive yourself and your teammates. In college we called this the “next-play” mindset; 2) Do not taint your brand with over promising and under-delivering; 3) Be a good listener. Be sure to understand exactly what is being said or asked of you; 4) Relationships are key to success. This means your honesty, love and patience will go a long way in building solid relationships and a personal brand; 5) Success takes time. My college football coach reminded us often “The road to success runs right through the town of adversity” Success is going to require patience, perseverance, and hard work. SolitudeHomes.com

Peter Oliver

Partner | TOK Commercial

For me, relationships are the fundamental foundation for a successful life, both personally and in business. By adopting a long-term perspective, everyone can create solid, meaningful and fulfilling relationships. The prevalent societal mindset today is much like a fast-food drive-thru, everyone wants results now and often. While e-mail, texting, voicemail, social media and the internet are all useful tools for communication, networking and promotion, we also realize their shortcomings, particularly when compared with good old fashion human interaction. Undeniably, this approach takes work, but the rewards are satisfying from both a personal and business perspective. And with the amount of time we all spend at work, who wouldn’t want to maximize the return on time invested every day with each person who crosses our paths? TokCommercial.com

Bill Connors

President & CEO |  Boise Metro Chamber

Congratulations graduating metro-area students! You are about to embark on a journey that will help shape the future of our community. Our business community is growing faster than ever, which presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. As you pursue your goals, I hope you’ll keep these things in mind: Continue learning – Business owners need people who “know their stuff.” Work to be that person who understands the problem well enough to offer solutions; Look for opportunities to lead – Leadership can take place anywhere from the boardroom to the breakroom; Seek strength and mentorship through professional organizations – The Boise Metro Chamber is a member organization for businesses and business people. There are many, many professional and community organizations out there. BoiseChamber.org

Rob Poleki 

CEO | Washie

Tips for entrepreneurs who are starting the journey: 1) Do not listen to people who have not taken the journey themselves (friends & family). Everyone's an expert until you look at their resume; 2) You will have hard times. It is a part of the journey of learning. You’ll need to fail in order to win in the end; 3) DO NOT GIVE UP! Everyone has a million-dollar idea however execution and persistence are key. I always remember this quote from Sir James Dyson, inventor of the Dyson Vacuum, “What I’ve learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you want to give up. Success is often around the corner.” WashieToiletSeat.com

Related Businesses

Related Articles