Written by Therese Schultz
21 Aug 2018

Team Spotlight : Chris Smith

“I don't mind what my role is in the long run as long as I'm helping someone grow and transform into something different.”

Visiting our Wisconsin clean processing facility last month, I had the opportunity to speak to Chris Smith, our truly amazing plant manager who joined Daniels Health in December last year. Being the closest facility to our Chicago support office, Chris has earned the title of part-time plant manager and part-time tour guide! He manages both roles with equal equanimity and has earned the respect of everyone who works with him.   


What does a “Day in the life of Chris Smith” look like at Daniels?

The basics of what I do are simple. I work with the team to do the jobs that need to be done each day and try to get them to see the big picture about how their daily responsibilities contribute to healthcare. The ultimate goal that we focus on is to make sure the customer gets what they need when they need it. Beyond that, my responsibilities are normal firefighting for any plant manager; this involves everything from making sure the machines are running properly to ensuring that staff are aligned with company goals.


How do you define your leadership style?

I'm not a micromanager; my leadership style is to coach and be open. I want people to prove me wrong if they think they know better. I want my team to feel safe to fail and feel comfortable to make decisions on their own. It's great to have at least weekly checkpoints with my team because everyone works differently. Some people might want to work through a problem independently, where it may very well be beneficial to them to get the help and support of others around them.


"Daniels is clearly differentiated in our industry by the way people truly pour themselves into what they're doing here. Our team genuinely cares about what they're doing and how they perform. Nobody likes to hear that the customer didn't get what they expected or were unsatisfied."


Where do you see the business going in the coming months? 

I see growth; I see growth for the people and the business. We are going to grow organically and quickly as we build up awareness around our vision. I see a lot of transition company-wide and scalability enabling growth without disruption. At the plant level, the capacity may naturally get a little constrained, but when you get put in a position like that, the true leaders come out.  


What do you find the most meaningful in your job? 

What matters to me most is the coaching aspect. I like to help people see things differently and push them to view themselves from a different perspective. I don't mind what my role is in the long run as long as I'm helping someone grow and transform into a stronger version of themselves.

"The future” is always bumpy at first, but I know there is a lot of excitement to come."

One thing I appreciate the most about this job is that we all come together to make it happen. Every person is driving in the same direction no matter what their position is, and the customer is guaranteed to be taken care of. In the short period of time I’ve been with Daniels I've had the opportunity to build out metrics to identify “did each person have a good day or not? Did we achieve our goals for the day?” by doing this we can achieve greater focus as a team.  

Header Style: 
Therese Schultz

Therese Schultz

Marketing Specialist

Therese joined the Daniels team in June 2017 after graduating from Loras College with a B.A in marketing and finance; she grew up in New Lenox in Chicago, is an avid volleyball player, and she loves numbers (quite a rare and beautiful find in marketing!)