Fearless Leadership Lessons from Ramzi Hermiz

January 25, 2019 Jim Nader

Before the holidays, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ramzi Hermiz, president and CEO of Shiloh Industries and well-known Detroit changemaker. The conversation gave me a lot to think about as I plan for the new year, both professionally and personally.

Ramzi is a cool guy. He’s on the board for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, leads the board for the Automotive Hall of Fame, and played rugby in college. He’s also really good at his job - under his leadership, Shiloh has expanded to a billion-dollar business and has become a technology and environmental leader in the auto industry. 

Objectively, Ramzi is successful. At the MSED (Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit) fireside chat, we learned a little bit more about how Ramzi got to where he is today, and why he thinks it’s important to be a good citizen. 

Ramzi Hermiz, President & CEO of Shiloh Industries

Ramzi Hermiz, president and CEO of Shiloh Industries

5 values that embody his fearless leadership style:

#1. You can’t forget discipline and hard work. Edison said, “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work.” All careers have a few bumps along the way, but Ramzi has done an exceptional job keeping his perspective and development in check. He rises well before the sun and stays grounded by thinking about the goals and tasks he’s set, rather than feel intimidated by circumstances beyond his control. He’s a believer in ‘showing up’ - for your team, your family, and yourself. 

#2. You will make mistakes - and they’ll be good for you. Ramzi has made some mistakes in his career - some bigger than others. While any and every misjudgment is painful, he credits these failures for his ongoing successes. Ramzi said during our conversation: “Experience comes from poor judgment. Good judgment comes from experience, and in every failure, there is a lesson. It’s up to you to decide if you want to learn from your mistakes.” 

#3. Good days are a choice. Ramzi also mentioned that he’s never had a bad day or a bad boss. Obviously, everyone is regularly tempted to blame-shift, escape responsibility, or give in to moodiness, but Ramzi is a big believer in creating circumstances rather than accepting them. He regularly reframes situations to his advantage, advising his team to “learn to take control of an environment and make it their own – to create the environment one wants, instead of being a victim of a situation.”  

#4. Your people deserve honesty, communication, and a seat at the table. In today’s evolving labor market, people have more choices than ever before.  Ramzi’s colleagues and team members appreciate his transparent, communicative style of leadership that doesn’t withhold information that could be relevant and useful. He seeks feedback from all levels of his organization and encourages people to be concise and direct. He leads by example and inspires others to step outside of their comfort zones and embrace challenges and growth opportunities. Ramzi’s style of leadership demonstrates his respect and appreciation for his employees far better than office perks or company brochures. 

#5. Wherever you are, leave it better than before. One of Ramzi’s proudest achievements is Shiloh’s path toward sustainability. His commitment to becoming an environmental steward for the next generation is highlighted by Shiloh’s landfill-free facilities and drive to reducing carbon emissions through improved fuel economy, recyclability, and sustainability. The respect Ramzi has for his employees is mirrored by his desire to do right by the planet and people. 

I was truly honored to learn from Ramzi and to share his success story at the MSED fireside chat. I’m grateful for the work he’s done at Shiloh and in and around Detroit. I love living in this city and being a part of its innovation story, and I love seeing teams and companies use technology to make growth more scalable, progressive, and sustainable. Let’s keep the wheels turning! 


Message us on social and tell us which value is most aligned with your leadership style. #NAIAS

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About the Author

Jim Nader

Jim Nader leads the Automotive division at Appirio. A Detroit native, Jim has spent over 20 years helping customers plan their growth, improve their business processes, and foster customer engagement. A passionate collaborator, Jim is always seeking to improve the workdays of his clients and colleagues.

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