An interview with Bob Puls: More insight into the owner of Zion Industries, a leading induction heat treating company.
How long have you held your present position?
As CEO, from the beginning of the company (1977).
How did you get started in this business?
I prayed very diligently for the Lord’s leading, and he blessed me by showing me the need for an induction heat treating company in this region.
What, in a nutshell, are your responsibilities from day to day?
I serve as an in-house consultant in certain technical areas. I continually strive to bring the staff’s attention back to our mission. This involves a great deal of guidance and teaching.
Learn more about our induction heat treating services!
What is your biggest challenge in operating this business?
Hiring the right people. Even though that is no longer my direct responsibility, it is the biggest challenge the company faces.
How did you overcome or meet that challenge?
Since our company is managed based on biblical principles, we pray for the Lord to send the right people to fill specific positions. He has been faithful in doing so. We have been diligent in the way in which we advertise open positions and evaluate candidates for those positions.
What are your entrepreneurial strengths, with examples to show how you illustrate them?
I’m the company visionary. I see directions for the company to follow and then find the right people to make the dreams reality.
How do you motivate employees?
By showing a personal concern in each member of my staff, by allowing my staff to make their own decisions and not ‘beating them up’ when they make a poor decision. Making good decisions comes from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.
What have you and your business contributed to the community?
We have gotten involved in business/education partnerships with local schools. For example, some of our staff have gone into the local high school to stress the importance of math in the “real world”. We also participate with Junior Achievement. We strive to benefit the surrounding community by hiring as many “local” folks as possible. We then provide help in furthering our employees’ education (e.g., GED, upgrade math skills, computer training, etc.)
What are the distinguishing characteristics of your company?
Zion Industries, like so many others, strives for excellence in service and quality. What distinguishes us, I believe, is our primary motivation for this. We strive for excellence to bring glory to God. I believe that God is pleased when we do an excellent job for our customers and help out our employees. When it comes right down to it, all business is personal, even something like working at an induction heat treating company in the Rust Belt. Zion Industries has the opportunity to help a host of people including our customers, suppliers, and employees by using our business as a platform for ministry.
What was your first job and what lesson did you learn from working there?
I worked for a very successful and well-managed company, which taught me the importance of well-rounded management principles.
Who is your mentor?
My father was my mentor. He taught me the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and then allowing that relationship to impact the way I think and the things I do.
What is your business philosophy?
Our mission is to bring glory to God through the pursuit of excellence in seven areas including customer service and employee training.
What motivates you to do your best work?
Two passages from the Bible come to mind. Matthew 6:33 states, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.”
What future goals do you have for your company?
That those who are presently working for me will be able to grow and prosper as our heat treating company expands.
“But if not…” This quote comes from the book of Daniel in the Bible. The context of the quote involves three Hebrew men who would not bow to a foreign idol, even upon the threat of being cast into a furnace. They stated to the king that God could rescue them if he desires, “but if not”, they would still only worship the one, true God.
What faith! This holds true in my business world as well. Even though our decisions may result in harm to my business, I must always choose to honor God in all that I do. Then leave the results in His hands.