Garett Kittredge is the CEO of RuffStuff Specialties. Garett is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Garett provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of RuffStuff Specialties. Garett Kittredge joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded RuffStuff Specialties with our Impact Company of 2019 award. We are delighted to have Garett join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview and our popular “speed round” as well.
Garett, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for RuffStuff Specialties?
Ruffstuff Specialties manufactures off road fabrication parts for retail and wholesale online. At our core we cater to the DIY community but also offer products that are more complete than others and can be installed by less hands on people.
2. What is the key to your company’s success?
Leadership at all levels
3. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Keep it simple. I often create more work for myself and others around me by attempting to maximize a process by throwing too many ideas into the mix. Those are some of my top strengths but also a large weakness. Utilize your co workers to get the job done and learn how to delegate. Treat people how you want to be treated.
4. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Prioritize and execute. Life is hard, dig in and start working the problem. Ask for help when you need it. Don’t become complacent when things are going good, stay sharp.
5. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at RuffStuff Specialties, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Customer service is at the core of Ruffstuff, the company was started because of poor service from others. We are not perfect by any means, but we own our mistakes and do everything we can to make it right for everyone in the end.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
We have a good team here and we meet weekly to discuss what is going on within the company and also have meetings weekly to discuss current products and new product development.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead RuffStuff Specialties?
I get up in the morning to live a full life. It took me a few years to learn but only focusing on work is not living, there has to be a disconnect to recharge. Staying physical keeps me mentally sharp, I wake up early, go to the gym and train Jiu Jitsu, then I’m ready to take on my work day with a clear and sound mind.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
Extreme Ownership. This book reinforced how I operated day to day and has given me a default structure to always fall back to: Cover and move, simple, prioritize and execute and decentralized command. Own all mistakes/failures and pass the success onto the team.
9. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at RuffStuff Specialties?
I give them as much ownership and control as I can. If they own the project, they come up with the plan, then they can execute it much more thoroughly. This is hard for me since I really like to come up with ideas and solve problems but I have to be tactful and allow the team to solve their own problems without being complacent to the issue. I am constantly balancing this with each of our managers.
10. Can you explain what leadership means to you?
Leadership is influence. The ability to influence for the greater good of the company or group and never for self fulfilment.
“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.” Art Of War
We would like to have some fun and do a “speed round” with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only. Here you go!
1. In three words or less, what makes a successful CEO?
Humility, Patience, Discipline
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
Exploration and Jiu Jitsu
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at RuffStuff Specialties?
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
Ability to endure
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English language?
Garett Kittredge, thank you so much for sitting down with us for our DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course RuffStuff Specialties, nothing but the best.