Step Out of the Shadows, Says Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco

Jan. 6, 2012
2011 IW Hall of Fame winner Dan DiMicco speaks out.

Earlier this month, Dan DiMicco was named to the 2011 Hall of fame. To read his profile click here.

DiMicco shares his thoughts on his career, mottos and what needs to be done for the future.

What do you believe is your legacy to the manufacturing community?
Leading the drive for a reinvigorated and revitalized domestic manufacturing sector. We advocated for elevating the discussion on the need for "rules based free trade" versus the "blind and distorted" form of free trade that has existed during the post Reagan era. One thing I would like to be known for is educating and shinning the light of truth on the destructive mercantilist trading behavior of China on our economy, our middle class jobs, and the U.S. -based manufacturing sector.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Leading a successful transition at Nucor from the success and leadership of our iconic founder Ken Iverson to the current leadership team. I was responsible for the success of adding a major acquisition piece to our success strategy and more than doubling the size and increasing the profitability of Nucor over five fold from peak-to-peak in the cycle and doubling the profitability from trough-to- trough. Our team accomplished all this while strengthening the highly successful and well known Nucor culture. We were also able to maintain a strong balance sheet and the global metals and mining industry's highest investment grade credit rating.

What traits do you possess that enabled you to transform Nucor?
A strong ability to motivate, educate, and get people to follow; an ability to see the bigger picture and think strategically; persistence; a can-do attitude; a strong work ethic; an ability to empathize with people; an inquisitive mindset and strong problem solving skills a strong outgoing personality and a sense of humor!

Do you have a professional credo that you live by?
There are a few credos worth including. One is "Never say Never"! Another is " Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt the people doing it"! "Seek first to understand before being understood"; "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason"; and lastly, and one that I continually strive for but have not yet mastered --"Treat people the way you would want to be treated."

What actions would you like to see other U.S. manufacturers take to "level the playing field?"
Step out of the shadows, organize at the grass roots and national levels and become champions for U.S.-based manufacturing. Work to awaken our political and business leaders to how our "trading partners" play and rig the game of trade and how only a strong public and private joint partnership, based on free market principles and accountability, can compete on this rigged global trading stage.

What advice would you give to future leaders?
Be true to your values and who you are and never be satisfied with the status quo! Surround yourself with good people/leaders-give them the tool, resources, and training to do the job and then get the heck out of their way. Don't be afraid to make mistakes or to let your people make mistakes but be sure that everyone learns from them (and pray they are not too big.)

About the Author

Edited Adrienne Selko

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Email: [email protected]

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Senior Editor Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at MH&L and EHS Today.  

Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. 

She is the author of  Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. 

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