Growing with Purpose Podcast: Unpacking the Past with Eric Rieger
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On this episode of the Growing With Purpose podcast, Paul Spiegelman talks to Eric Rieger, founder and CEO of WEBIT Services, a people-focused IT strategy, service, and support company based in Naperville, IL.
After working for other software companies with poor culture, Eric decided to take matters into his own hands and start his own company. 25 years later, WEBIT Services is a Better Business Bureau accredited company, and has made it onto the Inc. Best Workplaces list.
“There’s harmony and vision and unity with the leadership team, which then translates down to the rest of the company,” says Eric. “The gears are really starting to align, and we’re gaining traction because of it.”
Eric moved his company to open book management in 2016, and as of last year, transformed WEBIT into an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). He wanted to make sure that he had an exit strategy in place that would benefit the people who have made his company a success over the years.
“My purpose for starting the company was to help make lives better, not enrich my own pockets.”
With the help of mentors, peer groups, and being involved in therapy, Eric has come to recognize the impact his parents have had on both his personal and professional life, both good and bad. His father was a huge positive influence in his early life. As a truck driver (that’s ‘transportation engineer’ to you) with very little education, Eric’s father broke down stereotypes and took great pride in the role his job had in maintaining the country’s economy. And he did this all while upholding his morals and being generous with those around him. Eric’s mother, on the other hand, was a narcissist who expected perfection, and it took Eric some time to realize that he was perpetuating that onto his colleagues and employees, and so had to make a change to end the cycle.
Eric’s life has been full of instances where he’s had the courage to take action. From cutting ties with his mother, to taking control of his health after an unwelcome diagnosis, to forming the ESOP, Eric has learned the importance of taking care of oneself in order to take care of others.
Listen as Eric discusses with Paul how WEBIT makes technology with a human-centered mission, the importance of both mental and physical health for being the best leader possible, and being conscious of making both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ decisions.
Listen to Eric's story below:
- "The technology should be serving the people, not the other way around.”
- “The biggest influence that I had was my father.”
- “I was a very angry person in my youth because I can’t stand injustice.”
- “The goal of a leader is to build other leaders.”