No stranger to the business world, Rick Baden joined the Watco Companies team in 2004 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. With a degree in accounting and a resumé that included project management and accounting, as well as leadership at National Pizza Company and Pitt Plastics — a $100 million plastics manufacturer — Rick brought a wealth of experience to the Watco team.
Watco Companies was on solid footing. Having gotten its start in 1983 when Dick Webb purchased an industrial switching operation in DeRidder, Louisiana, it has grown to include railcar repair shops and shortline railroads across the nation and in Australia. Amidst a trajectory of growth, Rick was named Chief Operating Officer in 2011 and was named President in 2014.
The company had a set of proven customer-oriented core values. Its team was comprised of energized, dedicated employees. What Rick wanted most was a personal advisor to help him transition into his new role as President and help him gain perspective on all that the role encompassed.
“I needed a sounding board — someone I could bounce ideas off of,” he says. “Someone to help me step back from business, to look at myself and see where there might be areas of improvement.”
Rick had grown to know Joe Dellasega in their years at Pitt Plastics.
“When we worked together, I really saw what he was made of,” Rick says.
It was a no-brainer to engage the Dellasega Group for executive coaching.
The Dellasega Group worked with Rick to gain that fresh perspective he was seeking.
“You get so sucked in sometimes with the day to day details, you lose sight of the bigger picture,” he says.
After outlining actionable items, the Dellasega Group held Rick accountable — something that even the most dedicated business leaders find difficult to do for themselves — by checking in on a regular basis.
The Dellasega Group also gave Rick a 10-point scale for each focus area, then checked in with him to gauge where he was facing challenges. Keeping it positive, Joe discussed with Rick strategies he could use to tackle the problem the next day.
When it comes to business leadership, Rick — himself a proven business executive — says he learned valuable skills from Joe.
“That’s because Joe is creative, a great facilitator, asks the right questions, thinks about issues in critical way, and is a good brainstormer,” Rick says.
But perhaps most important was that Rick found through his coaching that he didn’t need to work harder to achieve more — he needed to achieve balance.
“Joe helped me realize that a balanced life is critical, and not just balance in work — balance with family, faith, and in health,” Rick says. “Work can consume you, and other parts can suffer.”
What Was It Like Working With the Dellasega Group?
Rick shares these remarks about working with the Dellasega Group:
“Joe’s strengths are his integrity — you get what you see.”
“He’s very positive and always true to his word.”
“He has a stellar reputation. What he tells you, you believe.”
“I admire Joe’s core traits. He has humility, he is of high character, he is well respected, and a true people-person.”
Why hire a coach?
Rick says it best:
“When you have someone out there who follows up on what you’re trying to achieve, who is encouraging you along the way, and has your best interest at heart, that’s a tremendous value.”