• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Developing A Professional Enterprise Mindset

Developing A Professional Enterprise Mindset

For the first thirty years of my life I was a world class time waster, seemingly incapable of living beyond the moment. I’ve always had a strong will and possessed the ability to commit to whatever I set my mind to, but like many young folks my intentions were misguided resulting in years that could have been better spent investing in activities more beneficial in a general sense. I definitively did not possess an enterprise mindset. I could not see the big picture. 

My long-term trajectory wasn’t on the radar, I was too busy living life, enjoying the moment and accumulating experiences. Arguably I may be better off as a result but looking back I do not feel my use of time was overly advantageous back then.

Racing and an enterprise mindset
Laguna Seca 2013

Mindset Shift

I don’t know when exactly my mindset began to shift. At some point in my late twenties I decided I had better take advantage of the GI Bill. I needed to maximize the opportunity earned through my Air Force enlistment. Not long after I met my future wife. She famously once told me “I never thought I’d date an uneducated man.”

That statement has and continues to motivate me. She is tough as nails woman wrapped in beauty. As you can probably deduce she also simply does not possess a filter. I love her for it, admittedly it drives me crazy at the same time.

Her words helped me realize I was spinning my wheels. I needed to own the actions necessary to better myself long term. Sometimes all it takes is surrounding yourself with the right people and a little motivation. If you’re wondering, we do reminiscence and laugh about that statement way back when among many other things.

Mrs. Country Exec & I

The Journey

Eventually I did finish my bachelor’s degree, and I kept going until I had a master’s. While I was in my graduate program, I made a list of professional certifications I felt would eventually line me up to achieve my goals. Upon completing the program I didn’t stop. I eventually earned credentials as a Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and a Project Manager Professional (PMP). I even added an ITIL Intermediate certification in Service Operations for good measure.

All said it took twelve years from when I begrudgingly began taking classes to maximize the GI Bill. Twelve years before I was able to check all the professional education boxes I felt were necessary to achieve my personal definition of success. During that period I took breaks and vacations. I got married and relocated to new cities multiple times. I changed employers and still managed to find time for a lot of the things I enjoyed doing in life. Despite the interruptions I never lost sight of the end goal.

Racing vs Business

All this brings me to the photo I chose for this post, that’s me at Infineon Raceway circa July 2010. For those into bikes I’m riding a 2006 Suzuki GSX-R that I bought new in October 2006. I still own it to this day.

The reason I chose to use that picture is because I draw a direct line from riding a motorcycle to the skill set used to accomplish my professional education goals and continue using today. Riding a motorcycle, particularly on a racetrack, requires immense focus.

Concurrently you have to be hyper aware of your surroundings. Not only do you have to concentrate on your own actions, you also have other racers all around you fixated on riding to the best of their ability. Many of those racers may be faster than you. Buzzing by as you are fighting with your machine to keep two wheels on the ground. I loved it, but I knew I was risking my life every time I hopped on.

Just for fun here’s a video of a buddy following me at The Streets of Willow in California circa 2013. I hung up my leathers a few years ago, seeing this reminds me how much I used to love it!

Racing and an enterprise mindset
Streets of Willow 2011

Enterprise Mindset

From a business perspective I relate that to an enterprise mindset. I define it as the ability to manage your tasks to the best of your ability while being mindful of the mitigating factors impacting the end goal. Today I oversee a city department. I must be acutely aware of where we are with our operational tasks, capital efforts, budgeting, professional relationships and other administrative requirements. It is paramount I also understand how my departments activities impact the overlying goals of my employer.

It’s not life and death like on a motorcycle. It is my livelihood, how I put food on the table and ultimately how I meet my financial obligations. The ability to ruminate the big picture and drive the actions of my department to coincide with a singular vision serves me well in my role today. I believe it is a foundational characteristic required by anyone in a position of leadership.

Racing and an enterprise mindset
Laguna Seca 2013


At the end of the day, the point I would like anyone reading this to take home is that whether you’re talking personal or professional actions an enterprise mindset can help you achieve your definition of success. Vision and commitment are key words, as much like my own experience it can take years to reach a milestone.

If you are in a leadership position vision, whether defined by you or someone else, will provide the basis to align the actions you are responsible for. It took me years to stop living in the moment both personally and professionally. To develop the mindset to not only think long term, but to also take action upon it was essential in helping me reach my goals. It can be defined as simply as having a goal and sticking to it. Of course there’s a lot of work and commitment required to do so.


Here’s what I know though, you can do it. If you’re reading my blog and made it this far down the page obviously, you’re motivated. If you’re motivated enough to read the ramblings of some guy living in rural Texas, then you’re motivated enough to formulate a plan and motivated enough to take action on it. You can develop an enterprise mindset that can enhance your life and career.

Baby steps compound, push forward, power through and eventually you’ll reach that end goal. Opportunity waits for those that are willing to seize it, I’d like for that to be you. Until next time please take care of yourself and your loved ones as we slowly return to a post Covid-19 society, stay safe everyone!

Racing and an enterprise mindset
COTA 2017

2 thoughts on “Developing A Professional Enterprise Mindset

    • Author gravatar

      Great blog, truly inspirational. I watch you lead in rural Texas, while the area may be remote your leadership is everything but. You have an ability to connect with all walks of life and build relationships that root you for even further success.

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