Episode Thumbnail
Episode 10  |  32:37 min

Amish Shah discusses building your team and company for the future

Episode 10  |  32:37 min  |  05.14.2021

Amish Shah discusses building your team and company for the future

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This is a podcast episode titled, Amish Shah discusses building your team and company for the future. The summary for this episode is: <p>Amish Shah, CEO of Kem Krest, joins Tim for this episode. Amish discusses how he builds his team for the future and the importance of a resilient leader. He digs into his role of creating and cascading the vision, as well as empowering his team. Tune in and hear Amish and Tim talk about diversity, Kem Krest's moonshot, and more.</p>
Takeaway 1 | 00:17 MIN
Disrupt your business before you're forced to
Takeaway 2 | 00:20 MIN
You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable
Takeaway 3 | 00:24 MIN
Empower your teams
Takeaway 4 | 00:29 MIN
Create and cascade the vision
Takeaway 5 | 01:20 MIN
It takes a village
Takeaway 6 | 01:18 MIN
We're building astronauts
Takeaway 7 | 01:15 MIN
Diversity of thought
Takeaway 8 | 01:29 MIN
Amish's edge

Amish Shah, CEO of Kem Krest, joins Tim for this episode. Amish discusses how he builds his team for the future and the importance of a resilient leader. He digs into his role of creating and cascading the vision, as well as empowering his team. Tune in and hear Amish and Tim talk about diversity, Kem Krest's moonshot, and more.

Guest Thumbnail
Amish Shah
CEO of Kem Krest
As an entrepreneur, community champion, and education enthusiast, Amish Shah has helped make the South Bend – Elkhart region a better place to live and work for more than 20 years. As CEO since 2008, Amish has led Kem Krest to become a $500+ million business that services Fortune 100 companies globally. In March 2020, Kem Krest launched Kem-Shield, which distributes a wide array of health & safety products to customers nation-wide. Amish serves on a variety of boards and committees and is especially passionate about building the next generation of entrepreneurs. Amish and his wife, Amy, live in Elkhart County with their four children.
Connect with Amish

Tim Leman: Have you ever felt like you're on the edge of something great? You've put in the work, you've done the hard stuff most people aren't willing to do, and now you can just sense a magical run lies ahead. On this podcast, we talk about what separates those special teams, the kind, if we're lucky, we get to be a part of maybe three or four times in our life, from the more ordinary experiences. I'm your host, Tim Leman. Let's discuss leading on the edge. Welcome to The Edge podcast. I'm your host, Tim Leman. On this episode, we have Amish Shah. Amish is CEO of Kem Krest. The more I've gotten to know Amish through YPO and as a fellow leader in our community, the more I can say that he definitely has figured out how to ride the edge. I'm excited to have him as our guest today. Welcome, Amish.

Amish Shah: Thank you, Tim. It's a pleasure to be here.

Tim Leman: All right. I've got to get this started with a funny story that you often share. We both live in the Amish country, in Northern Indiana. Tell us about your parking dilemma.

Amish Shah: Well, I don't know if it was a dilemma as much as it was... The more I got to know Goshen, Goshen is this area just outside of Elkhart City, and it's very vibrant. There's a lot that was going on. And frankly, I just didn't spend enough time at Goshen. I'd been encouraged by all my Goshen friends to come to Goshen and check out the farmer's market, look at downtown, all of the great restaurants. So finally, one day I decided, this was some years ago, I decided to venture into Goshen. And the farmer's market is amazing. There's no place to park, but I found a place right up front that said," Amish parking only." I just was so grateful that the mayor of Goshen wanted me there so badly that they actually gave me a parking spot. So of course, I park there. Feeling a little awkward, I took a picture of me behind the sign. And as I'm thinking about it, if anybody wanted to give me any slack, I could easily pull my driver's license out because clearly, my driver's license says Amish. Yes.

Tim Leman: I love it. You were looking for the Tesla charging cords, and instead there was a place for the reins for your pony. crosstalk. No, that's great. Hey, just high level, what does Kem Krest do?

Amish Shah: Really the easiest way to say it is, we're a value added manufacturing, distribution and supply chain company, specifically focused in the transportation industry. So automotive, agriculture, industrial, and power sports. Companies like General Motors, Ferrari, Audi, Volkswagen, Harley Davidson, John Deere, contract us to manage all of their products that they use for service. So chemicals, fluids, parts, and accessories. At the highest level, that's what we do. We've got 12 facilities around North America, that have a combination of manufacturing, kitting, packaging, and distribution.

Tim Leman: Speaking of Tesla Amish, you talking about that, I remember, first one of my buddies to get a Tesla. He's talking about how great it is and there's no service or anything. I'm like,"Yeah, but what about oil changes and brake?" He's like," Tim, it's an electric vehicle. We don't don't have that." So when I think about your industry, and you supply a lot of parts in the transportation space, a lot of them have been normal combustible engines. As everything shifts to electric vehicles, what do you think that's going to do to your business, and what do you see ahead?

Amish Shah: Tim, it's a really good question. And frankly, it's probably what consumes most or all of my energy, day in and day out. I also have a Tesla. I wanted to explore the technology and the innovation, and the electric vehicle. Put it this way, when you have a, call it a Chevy Tahoe, you get your oil changed. The service intervals that you have is roughly every four to six, to even maybe 8, 000 miles, if you push it. When you have a Tesla, you get your battery coolant changed at about 150,000 miles, your brake fluid changed at 30,000 miles. And you just add a little bit of windshield washer solvent as needed, depending on how much you use it. Electric vehicle engines have something like 60% less parts. So they're not as complicated, which is great. It's great for the engineers. It's great for the user because you have less complication. The only thing that can really go wrong is the computer systems, but they can manage that remotely. So for our industry, frankly, I use this example, is that I always wonder why Blockbuster didn't see it coming through digital transformation. And frankly, it's sometimes hard to see it coming because you've got CEOs like Mary Barra, who are clearly saying by 2035, General Motors will not produce an internal combustion engine. Well, here we are in 2021. You've got two things you can do. You can put your head in the sand and say," That'll never happen," or you can say," Well, you know what? Later down the line, we'll start thinking about it." Or you can take the approach that we did, which is we are actually trying to disrupt our business today before we're forced to. Your question was, what is this going to do to the industry? Oh, my gosh. It's going to completely change the industry because you're just talking about electric vehicles. Well, then you layer in autonomous vehicles and how that's going to work, and how that's just going to change where you stop. Electric vehicles, you don't stop at the 7- Eleven. I stop at 7-Eleven to get my coffee every day. People make fun of me because I pull my Tesla into the gas pump, walk in and get my coffee. And there's people that actually will take pictures of a Tesla sitting at a gas pump, just because they think it's funny. But I still want my coffee at 7- Eleven. But think about all of the commerce that goes on when you stop and get gas, and you get your snacks, and you get your coffee, and you get your paper and all these other things. So it's going to change. It's a huge tipping point. The industry, the auto industry, just the way consumers do things are going to change significantly because of electric vehicles.

Tim Leman: Amish, to stay out in front of all this. I know you rely on a great team of people. You always have, but I also know that you've had different iterations of your team around you. Talk a little bit about what you look for in a fellow leadership team, especially in business like this, that's going to be changing so rapidly for the future.

Amish Shah: Just like anything is, you build a team for what you need today, but you also need to build a team for what the future requirements are going to look like. So for us, frankly, resilience is a big piece of it, is that we need resilient leaders. Change is hard. I often use this phrase, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. So even during our interview process, I let people know that if you're really looking for real, stable predictability, you know what tomorrow's going to look like, right now, this is not the place for you. If you're really looking to be a rainmaker and make change, and actually see the impact of your thoughts and actions, and want to be innovative, and you're okay with trying and failing, and failing forward, and failing fast, this is actually a great place for you. It's helped in our interview process. We're actually interviewing a digital marketing person right now, for a couple of startups that we're working on, and found some really good talent. During the last phase of the interview process, we explained," This is more like a startup. I don't want you to think of this as being... Like you're going to come in. This is not that. This is really going to be the startup mentality, and it's the first time we're hiring people in the space. So if you want predictability, if you want real, structured stability, the first nine to 12 months are not going to be that." We lost 50% of the candidates during that conversation. I was very happy that we did because I explained to them that... We finally chosen a great candidate and they were excited for that. They're like," My gosh, this is exactly what I'm looking for." But we also need leaders that understand. During a transitional time, we call it working in the business versus working on the business. So at the leadership level, we need people working on the business, which means you have to empower your teams. You really have to bring your leaders from within the organization and bring them up, bring them along the journey, and start giving them more and more of the day- to- day functional responsibilities. Look, we've got metrics, we've got scorecards, we've got data. We've got a great way to evaluate the strength and the health of the business. What we, as leaders, top tier leaders, can't be doing is in there, tweaking the business constantly. And it's great because it's good for succession planning, it's good for us to evaluate who the future leaders are going to be. I remember when I started, our leadership team was extremely young. Hell, I was in my 20s. We were 20s and 30s, and we've all grown together. I'm almost 50 now, and I'd say our leadership team is from mid 30s to 60s. So what all that means is that we've got to start making space for the next tier leaders to come. And this is a great time to give them practice in running areas of the organization so that I could use the senior leadership team to focus on strategy and innovation, and the next phase of our business.

Tim Leman: Amish, you're CEO. But beyond the title, what is your role in all of that? What do you like spending your time on? Where do you think you can serve the organization best?

Amish Shah: This is just the vision. You've got to create and cascade the vision. So I've got to bring the right team around me. We've partnered with a great strategy firm and actually a consultant who's helping us, and we have a growth strategy team. And my role in that team is, first off, to make sure that it's aligned with where I think the organization needs to be. I'm making sure that we have the right data, that we're looking at the right future trends. And as we get that, it's about cascading. How do we cascade this new vision, this new strategy? We call it moonshot 2025. The moonshot is completely disrupting our business by 2025. Well, the thing is when you get down the lanes, the hourly levels and some of the supervisors some of the managers, if they don't understand that, if they don't get what's going on, then they lose the opportunity to be inspired. So that's my second role, is to just inspire the organization towards the vision of the future, because frankly, it's really interesting. It's really exciting. I remember when we were just getting things going in the early'90s, when I'd started, late'90s, when I'd started, it was exciting. We didn't know what we were doing, but we knew that we wanted to disrupt the automotive industry. Right? We were a smaller company back then, 20 people or so, and I was able to cascade that vision constantly to everybody. Everybody thought I was a little crazy, but at least they were part of it. They knew that if we were able to execute, we would change the way the auto industry worked. Well, now we're saying we really want to get into e- commerce fulfillment. We want to help all those people that want to ship things all around the world, that don't necessarily need brick and mortar anymore. We want to play a role in e- commerce fulfillment. We want to help them sell more. We want to use the years of experience that we have. We've helped transition or transform the supply chains at General Motors and Ford. We want to do that for Suzy's Purses, who's selling 200 purses out of Miami, or the likes of a larger company who's now decided to make that shift from having brick and mortar to really focusing on e- commerce. I think there's so many really cool things that are going on, that I want to make sure I'm bringing the entire team with us. I'm trying to stay out of the fray from the day- to- day, which is still hard, and really focus on strategy, strategy alignment, inspirational messaging, vision. And also just ensuring I'm validating a lot of these future trends, because there're some things tend to be moving too fast. You don't want to move ahead of the curve. Being a fast follower, I think is okay, because you can see what's going on. Things like Blockchain. We were thinking about and looking at Blockchain years ago. We were thinking about looking at robotics years ago. I think when we were thinking about them then, probably didn't make sense, 3D printing. But now those things are starting to become a little bit lesser in cost, a lot more functional, a lot more integratable. And now we could actually envision how that could be a good add- on into our business. So I'm also trying to validate which one of these things, because there's a lot that's out there, do we want to prioritize? What we feel would be better embedded into our business model today versus waiting and watching, and see where the technology goes.

Tim Leman: I love your label there, of being a fast follower. It really is that sweet spot where you can get out too far in front of everybody, your own team included, but you can't lag, so somewhere in between. Amish, you're one of the most driven, competitive, going hard all the time, also a really abundant person. Who helps you? Where do you go to get what you need, to get maybe the help and so on, to keep evolving on a personal level?

Amish Shah: It takes a village. I think it takes a village for anybody, right? For anybody, for just a normal person. When you're more complicated, because you got a lot of things going on, and you're driven, and you want to do a lot, it takes more than a village. It literally takes an entire team. I think the cross section of the resources that I rely on are... You mentioned YPO, Young Presidents Organization. I have a forum of seven CEO friends that are all going through the same journey as I, and we meet monthly. And we're able to share and get deep. We talk about things that nobody would normally talk about in the outside world, even with your friends or family. We're able to get deep, and that helps ground me, but it also provides a lot of self- awareness. I have great mentors, whether people that are on my board of advisors or just folks who I get breakfast with, that are 20 or 30 years older than me, that also provide me with great perspective. And then most recently, I actually formalized a coaching relationship. I started using a coach named Kevin Lawrence. Nonetheless, his process is really interesting. He's got three legs to the stool. One is about taking care of yourself first. He wrote a book about that, Put Your Oxygen Mask On First, which is, you can't take care of anybody else unless you take care of yourself. So he has a process to make sure that you're taking care of yourself.

Tim Leman: By the way, I appreciate the recommendation on that. I started in about two thirds of the way through that book, so looking forward to finishing it. It's good stuff.

Amish Shah: Yeah, it is good stuff. I think it's intuitive, but it's a good reminder that we do have to take care of ourselves. The second piece of this is about top grading. It's really about looking at your staff, making sure you've got the right team. Like we were saying earlier, what do you look for in a leadership team? The team that you might've had five years ago, if they don't evolve with you, or if you don't take the time to really think about where you're going as an organization and be intentional around bringing in new talent, because your trajectory might change or your strategy might change, or your resources that you need might change. So he helps us with that. And then the third is around scaling. How you scale your business. My coach has been, I think, another great resource. And then, of course, my wife keeps my, what do you call? The guard rails. There's nobody better as a reminder than your wife or your kids, when you start getting a little far out of your guard rail. That's the basics, that's the tier one. There's multiple tiers to this, but that's probably the most influential tier that is my best resource group.

Tim Leman: As you think back and look at the run you guys have had there at Kem Krest, and at different points in time, the slope of the growth and everything has been better, worse, whatever. Tell me about the best team you've ever been on. Maybe it is part of work or maybe it was some other type of team, but I'd love to hear about the best team you've been a part of.

Amish Shah: I'm not saying this just because it's where I am today, but I can tell you that the team that we have at work right now, I think is the best. It's the most aligned, probably the most open- minded. And also what's great is very experienced leaders. We've made a lot of new strategic hires. Why I say the best, it's because it's the diversity, it's the combination of talent that we have today. Going back 10 years, 12 years, 15 years, we were all in execution mode. It's that head down, get it done, jump through walls, whatever it takes, mentality, which was great. But here we are, years later. We actually, I think, are a lot smarter. We're being more thoughtful around how we execute. We have better processes and tools internally, to evaluate priorities, looking at things like impact matrix. Our operational excellence is years ahead of where we were before. Going back to this, let's just talk about moonshot. I love space. And if you think of it this way, when you go to the moon, if you get sick, you can't just go to the Beacon Health Center. If you need anything, you don't go to a mechanic. You're a one man or woman team. You've got to be very self- sufficient. So our desire to go to the moon, our moonshot vision is, yes, we need that core, the home base. Then it's sitting at mission central, that has the data and the support teams, and everything else. But we also need our leaders to be more diverse, to be more flexible, and to be more self- sufficient across all areas of the organization. I mentioned that because I feel like that's what we're building today. We're building athletes, we're building astronauts. We're building a team that's able to maneuver, once we get to the moon, we can actually build a station and survive. It's not just about getting to the moon, saying hi, taking a selfie and coming home. It's about the infrastructure that we want to build once we get there.

Tim Leman: Amish, when you talk about having diversity in your team like that, can you touch on that a little bit? Maybe there's some obvious things, but there may be some less obvious things you look for.

Amish Shah: Yeah. I actually do some keynotes on why diversity matters. And diversity in the way that most people think about it, which is also very important, is racial diversity and gender diversity, and just really this whole nature of inclusivity, which of course is a, first off, is just good people. But also as a minority owned company, that's so critically important for us. It's also diversity of thought. It's getting people that have different backgrounds. The worst thing you could do is to have a group of yes people that don't push. So we've been intentional in bringing people in from other functional areas, like places that we wouldn't... We hired a director of innovation from Snap on Tools. While you think that it's similar in industry, because we're in the auto industry, what have you, their thought process was much different because they were more in the retail environment, selling B2B or B2C big tools. So finding people, even outside of industry, has been critically important for us. For a long time, we were bringing people in all from in industry because we wanted in industry thought to be excellent. Well, now we're saying," No, let's just get the best people that can execute at this specific skillset. But let's find out of industry because they're going to bring thoughts, processes, problems that we haven't experienced yet." I can talk a lot about diversity and why it matters. I mean, within our organization, I want to say something like 60% of our leaders from supervisory, managery, managers on down, are female. We've got a really big push to have more meaningful management roles for ethnic minorities, and there's a lot of reasons for that. One of the biggest reasons, it's because we want to match what our demographics look like as a community. Also, people are more prone to go to companies that they can work for somebody that looks like them, or at least that thinks like them a little bit. We're all in a war for jobs today. Unemployment rate is at a record low, and we're using diversity authentically to be a differentiator. We don't just talk about it. It's not just a plaque on the wall. It's something that we actually have the data that proves that we execute on it really well.

Tim Leman: I think something you told me, and I reached out to you as we were trying to chart our course for the future, is with all this that you're doing, lots of great stuff about it, but you made the point to me though, that this is also going to be really great for business, for Kem Krest. Tim, don't do anything that also isn't going to be great for business because those things can and should align. That's where you get really the sweet spot, and it really sticks with you longterm. Talk about your thoughts on that, and what you see other companies and leaders doing in that area.

Amish Shah: The best way to explain it, I call it the economics of diversity. Let's put it this way. Over 50% of the US population are female. And I think this is inarguable, at least in my household, the majority of the family decision makers, when you make a large family decision, whether it's buying a house, buying a car or whatever it might be, even insurance, what have you, they're females. They're not only the majority, but they're the biggest influence. So do we target our marketing towards females? Do we have females that are actually acting as sales agents, that are helping to influence those decision makers? That's just the gender side of it. And it's not just in the marketing, but then it's in the culture of how you think. I say this, think like an immigrant, think like a female. If you can infuse the two of those things... Because you see immigrants that come to this country and crush it, right? They came in for survival economics. They wanted to make their life better. So they're going to think like, what is it going to take at all costs to make sure that I succeed? Then you can take a female, generally... I'm generalizing so I apologize, but generally speaking, females think a little bit more, I think deeper, they think more longer term. They think more about real, authentic connections. They think about the implication of short- term decisions in the long run. And there's a lot of components to, generally, how men and women think differently. So for me, the economics of diversity plays such a big role because, again, the people that are buying things... And then we talk about diversity. It depends on what the scale of your business is. I always love it when people say that Asians are minority. Actually, if you look at the world population between, the brown people in the world are a vast majority. I mean, Asia has got the majority of everybody that lives in the world. So only in the United States are they a minority. But if you're a company that also markets and sells to the global economy, I think it is also wise and prudent to have a good diverse group within your organization, that's helping to influence, not just your marketing, but also the culture of the organization.

Tim Leman: That's fantastic. All right. Final question, and we'll move on to the rapid fire. What would you say is your edge in life, Amish?

Amish Shah: Man, that's a deep one. It's a deep one because I don't know that anybody has, at least speaking for myself, has an edge. I don't know that one tool is big enough to... You can't play around a golf with a seven iron, which is the club that I hit the best. I guess, if you really think about it this way, the self- reflection, it's the ability to be honest, open and vulnerable, to be open- minded. I talk about disrupting our business, right? Think about the last 25 years of my life. I started in 1996. I was assembling this magnificent Lego structure, and it's taken me 25 years. Right? And then think about the last 18 months. I've literally taken it down, piece by piece, by piece, by piece, by piece. And you think that's crazy. Why in the world would you ever do that? Because we have to build a company for the future economy. We want to take those same blocks, but reassemble them for what the future needs are. Depending on what side of the table you're sitting on, you might say," Man, that's awesome." Well, if I'm the guy that's built this, each time I take a breakdown, I have a memory of what it was like when I put that brick up. I have a memory of literally building those strategies, and I'm disrupting. I think it's like climbing a mountain. I climb mountains. Climbing a mountain is the worst feeling in the world, the time you're doing it, except for right when you leave. You're clean, you're walking. I think I did one of your blogs once, or a thing on this.

Tim Leman: Right.

Amish Shah: But it sucks the whole time. It sucks. You're killing yourself. But three weeks later, you look back and you're like,"That was amazing," once you can breathe and eat, and sleep again. It's the same thing. It's like disruption, it's hard. It's all consuming.

Tim Leman: But that analogy is great. I haven't climbed the mountains you have, but I've hiked the Grand Canyon twice, rim to rim, in the same day.

Amish Shah: Wow.

Tim Leman: And yeah, there's those moments along there, coming back up, and you're like," Why did I sign up for this? Why did I sign up for this again? This is the most horrible thing," until you get to the top. And then your memory fades pretty quick. I'm like," That was great. I'm going to do that again. That was so awesome."

Amish Shah: That's exactly right.

Tim Leman: Versus all the pain going in. That's terrific. The self- awareness there too, that you talked about, I've asked a lot of people that question, and that's a unique answer from you on that, is the ability to be, obviously, in your body and in your head, but somehow levitate above it and see what's really going on, and being honest with yourself about those kinds of things. I mean, hugely powerful, if you can pull that off. It's tough to do. So I think it must be your group of... between your wife and your coach, and the people around you there. It takes a lot of folks like that to do that. Now it's time for my favorite part of the podcast, rapid fire. Okay. We'll start with easy ones here, like favorite color, Amish.

Amish Shah: Oh, green. Go Irish.

Tim Leman: All right. What was your first car?

Amish Shah: A canary yellow Geo Storm.

Tim Leman: That sounds awesome. Bet you'd love to get your hands on that again.

Amish Shah: It had stickers all over the back of it. I took it to a 100 grateful inaudible, believe it or not.

Tim Leman: Oh, man. That is actually really cool. Speaking of concerts, and maybe that'll be your answer, what's your most memorable concert?

Amish Shah: I've seen a lot of music in my life, and I don't necessarily have a most memorable. I think that just the elements of going to see music with my friends... Live music is the one thing that I miss the most during COVID. So no most memorable, but I can tell you, all aspects of going to see live music and camping out afterwards, and hanging out with all the fans is just... That brings me joy. I

Tim Leman: I've isolated down to that being maybe the number one thing I've missed during the pandemic timeframe is live music and being in a show like that. So I feel you on that. I normally ask people what their walkup song is, but I want to ask you what your favorite song for you to play on your own guitar is.

Amish Shah: I play an eight song set list for my kids, every single night. I have four children, the twins are four. I've been playing music for my kids since my daughter, who's 11, was three months old. My wife left for a conference and I was one- on- one with her. First time dad, didn't know what to do. Picked up the guitar, made a strum, and she stopped crying. And I'm like," This is gold." I usually end my set list with Bid You Good Night, because it's a nice goodnight song, or Blackbird from the Beatles. So I like to play music that just make people smile. And right now, my groupies are my kids, so anything they want, that makes them smile. Ironically, my kids, most of the songs they love are Grateful Dead. So I like that. I Know You Rider, they love Rider and they'll bounce along their beds. And they have their little guitars and they'll play, I Know You Rider with me. They know all the words. I love that.

Tim Leman: I love music. I like to still be manual and fight the system, and build playlists and stuff on Spotify. But I slipped a couple of Grateful Dead songs into the Key West spring break playlist for the kids. I just get them introduced, but well done, dad, if the kids are following you with that. Amish, what actor would play you in a movie?

Amish Shah: Oh, what's that guy I like? He's a comedian. He's really funny. I met him once. He's from Toronto. Aziz Ansari.

Tim Leman: Oh, yeah. He was part of Parks and Rec.

Amish Shah: People, for whatever reason, always compare me to him. I always they're crazy. And I actually met him, I had a bloody Mary with him once in a delayed flight in Toronto. He was up and I was up, and it was 08: 30 in the morning. We had a bloody Mary and we talked to each other. And it was great. I said," Yeah, people always think that I'm you." He looked at me, he goes," Yeah, people always think that I'm you. You're just like that funny guy." I'm like," I love it. I love it."

Tim Leman: That's fantastic. Amish, what's something about you that very few people know?

Amish Shah: Well, that my dream actually, when I was a kid, was to be in politics. I always wanted to be a US senator, congressman. I had a nickname growing up, as Prez, because I would follow US politics so closely. And I actually went to IU with a desired major of Poli Sci, to go to law school. So I could then fulfill a lifetime career in politics. My law professor was the mayor of Indianapolis, my freshman year. And after some really good advisory sessions with mayor Steven Goldsmith, he basically asked me why I wanted to be in politics. And I said," I'm going to change the system. I'm going to change the world." He strongly advised me to say," If you wanted to change the world, why don't you find a way to make some money and influence politics? Because it's a hell lot easier." So I got a finance degree.

Tim Leman: I think it's worked out all right. And I know you do get involved and help pushing for a better community, so that's great. Three people you'd like to have dinner with.

Amish Shah: These are some tough ones. So many great people. I am a retired Deadhead so I think Jerry Garcia is a very interesting person. I just like to hear stories, stories of the olden days of the music scene and what it was all like. Hammer like a Jimmy Hendrix or Janis Joplin, because those days were just so wild and they saw so many crazy things. Steve Jobs, I think would be really interesting. Just to be in the mind of a mad man that's been able to create, you have to be a savant to be at that level. And Mother Teresa would be fascinating.

Tim Leman: All right. We'll wrap up with this one. What's something big you want to do before it's all over? I suspect you just have a hard time whittling through your lists that you have.

Amish Shah: Yeah. There's different levels of this, right? One is, I really want to create a sustainable company that can go on for years to come. You start getting a little bit older and further up in your career, and you start to look at succession and next steps, and what that's all going to look like. So I love how we've built Kem Krest, specifically that it's impact driven. So we invest a lot in the community, we invest in our culture. We want all of our 500 associates to go out and be stewards of the community, and live in those same footsteps. There'll be a time where I'm not at the helm, and somebody else is running this thing. And we hope somebody else is running it for a long time. I'm not in the mindset of selling the business. I'd love to put in professional manager. I think that I'd love to look back one day, 20, some years from now. And if I'm not in the helm, looking back and saying," Wow, not only are they following the footsteps, but they've used the infrastructure to really take things to a whole new plateau." So professionally, that's something that I really want. Personally, I've always wanted to climb and summit Mount McKinley. It's a 30 day mission. You got to be in mental and physical health, above all, but that's my Everest. That's what I've always wanted to do. I was training to do it, and then my wife decided to have twins. She was pregnant with twins. No way I'm going to be on the side of a mountain, up in Alaska.

Tim Leman: I think you made a good choice. There'll be time to come. Amish, thanks so much for joining us today. Loved hearing about your journey, and even all the evolution and changes just in the last year and a half. Appreciate your time.

Amish Shah: Tim, thanks for inviting me, and thank you for doing this. This is outstanding. I think it's always great to listen in on other people's perspectives and their journey.

Tim Leman: Thank you for tuning in today. I'm Tim Leman, and remember to own your edge. Subscribe to The Edge podcast on Apple, Google, and Spotify.

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