Tom Schwyn is the Vice President of Global Legal Operations and GPO General Counsel at Whirlpool, one of the world’s leading kitchen and laundry appliances brands. Tom has an incredible career story, having joined Whirlpool as an electrical engineer back in 1987. As Vice President of the Legal Operations department, today Tom is tasked with mitigating risks, optimizing value, and promoting global collaboration across legal departments. He is planning to retire by the end of 2021.
Tom joins me today to share the many pieces of advice he followed that helped him get to where he is today. He describes what his first job was like and the lessons it taught him that he still carries to this day. He explains how young people can plan ahead without feeling stressed out or burned out. He shares some of the reasons why great leaders stumble and how they can correct themselves to prevent those experiences again. Tom also describes some of his fondest moments in the industry, his favorite taco recipe, and his advice for young professionals who have no idea how to manage their finances.
“Have a plan, but be open to opportunities that present themselves to you.” – Tom Schwyn
This week on Executive Decisions:
- Tom’s first job and what the experience taught him
- Tom’s advice to those who are about to embark on their professional journey
- What Tom considers to be terrible advice that is frequently given to young professionals
- What it takes to enjoy a long career
- Some of the decisions Tom would want to revisit
- The four qualities that define success for someone in Tom’s position
- Why Tom believes many good leaders fail as they climb the ranks
- Some of the most significant risks Tom took in his career
- The tough experiences Tom encountered and his key takeaways from them
- The best way to mentally recover from a loss
- Debunking some of the common myths in the industry
- Separating good advice from bad advice as a young professional
- Tom’s fondest moments, his Ted Talk topic, and financial advice
Our Favorite Quotes:
- “We can’t be everything to everybody.” – Sarah Delahanty
- “Sometimes, it’s not important to be the loudest voice in the room; sometimes, it’s better to listen and treat everyone with respect.” – Sarah Delahanty
- “Failures of integrity are hard to come back from.” – Tom Schwyn
Connect with Tom Schwyn:
About SYM Financial and Executive Decisions Podcast
Executive Decisions is a show for business leaders. In each episode, host and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Sarah Delahanty sits down with executives and local experts who serve them. Together, they tackle some of the harder questions that business leaders face today. From inspiring creativity in the workplace, to managing company politics, to making the best choices with executive compensation, taxes, and lifestyle — our show delivers stories and lessons learned across many industries and lifetimes.
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