Paul Hager, Information Technology Professionals
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Paul Hager, CEO, Information Technology Professionals.
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1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most challenging (and rewarding!) aspect of my job is to stay ahead of the curve in this ever-evolving technology market. My role for our clients — and our team philosophy — is to help continually translate and communicate these changes in ways that help their businesses grow. We take enormous pride in the fact that we have been able to provide the most current solutions for our customers. They have benefited greatly from our forward-thinking team. We at ITP genuinely have fun each day supporting some of Wisconsin’s best companies and nonprofits.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
In business I look up to Robert Herjavec, most well known for being on Shark Tank. I had the chance to have dinner with Robert and appreciate his ability to look at future trends to make smart investments. Robert is a technology company owner like myself and he had a great vision for his company to remain focused on cyber security. This was before cyber security was the big trend it is now and today his company leads the way.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
By far the high point of my career has been becoming the CEO at my current company, ITP. I had the opportunity to work alongside three other great partners in the business for a few years before ultimately buying the company. Now I have the rare experience of still working with those same three guys, plus another 35 team members. Their choice to remain in the company shows what kind of good people that I have had the chance to be in business with.
4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Mentorship is key! I think I would tell myself to learn as much as possible from the people around me. Ask more questions and be prepared for the leadership roles I would end up with five years later. If you have someone in your circle now who you could learn from, take the time to ask them directly to spend time coaching you. Asking for more coaching can be a tough and humbling moment, but it is so worth it as you progress on your professional path.