Award-winning Security Leader Shares Tips for Success
Resideo’s Jason Lutz shares what happens to your career when passions collide
In a recent LinkedIn post, Jason Lutz, Resideo’s Industry Affairs Leader, posed a question: Can your passions collide? The answer for Jason, and many others in the professional services industry, is “YES!”
Jason’s woodworking passion -- creating beautiful, custom works of art from raw materials in his shop -- has transferred to his security career as he continues to mold and shape the next generation. In his role, Jason has the opportunity to nurture young and early-career leaders and arm them with the insights and training needed to be successful in the future.
And as a result of that passion, Jason recently received a Security Innovator Award from Security Business / Security InfoWatch / Security Technology Executive magazines, which highlights visionary security industry executives that have transformed, modernized or otherwise made a tangible impact on the security industry, their customers’ businesses and their organization.
At Resideo, Jason has a track record of helping his customers deliver for their customers, providing an inclusive environment and mentoring people from all levels of the organization. We caught up with Jason following his session at the annual ESX Conference to glean some advice that he shared on stage. And, no surprise, the insights he shared about having a mission-driven, successful career and business, he also can apply to his other passion: woodworking.
Four Things to Know for a Successful, Professional Services Career
- 1. Find and use the right tools and materials to get the job done. Just as I've found when working in my shop, the right density of wood or the sharpness of my knife can make all the difference in the final product. Similarly, in the security and HVAC industry, recruiting and nurturing the right talent to work for your organization is critically important.
As I have experienced managing Resideo's Brand Ambassador program, the upcoming talent pool cares about a company's impact as much as it does about compensation structure. Specifically, I look for:
- - Culture fit. We can train products and sales, I can’t train culture. For Resideo, we've seen great success in hiring student athletes: they have a culture of wanting to win, are team players and are coachable.
- - Fearlessness. In sales, nobody is a stranger.
- - Servant leaders. People in our industry interact with homeowners on their worst day – like when their furnace quits in the dead of winter or their home was recently burglarized. I want someone who wants to make a difference – both for customers, their homes and the broader society.
- - Thirst for knowledge and connections. More and more in the interview process, candidates are asking for a swift onboarding plan – they want to be trained and brought up to speed quickly. We bring new hires together very early and do lots of training as well as team building. We will spend time with a variety of stakeholders: Training, Sales Operations, Marketing, Inside Sales and leadership, to name a few. Yes, it’s a job, but we're building careers with a “family-like” culture.
- 2. Evolve and try new things. While I may be most well-known for turning custom pens in my shop, I've also used my skills and apply it to other wood goods for my customers, friends and family.
The professional services landscape is changing. Homes are changing, becoming smarter and more energy efficient. What’s happening is that the TYPE of owner is changing AND the TYPE of PRODUCT they are selling/installing is also changing. I've seen many friends in the industry consider selling their businesses – or many of them handing down the reins to their children. And newer owners are taking their low-voltage business and doing more with high-voltage areas such as HVAC, energy panels, etc. It’s about taking a service model and RMR model and expanding that into the rest of the home.
- 3. Have fun building relationships and memories. Any hobby should bring joy – I find the most joy in creating things for my friends and family – and my hope is that you can find moments of joy in your job, too.
I love supporting worthy organizations in my community and giving back. I have been blessed in my career at Resideo to serve through the Mission 500 organization, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis. Resideo's leadership has given me the time and resources to support the great cause, and some of my favorite memories are working on service trips in Puerto Rico.
Jason in 2018 working in Puerto Rico alongside his wife, Stephanie and youngest daughter Gwynn.
- My advice to others is to get involved in your state or national trade or industry associations. The more we can come together as professionals, the better we can share knowledge and prepare for the future. I would also highly recommend getting involved in the local community. I have served more than ten years on my local athletic association board, which has given me knowledge of how to best motivate younger people and it also has fostered an appreciation for student athletes’ competitive spirit. One other critical thing it gave me was the patience and expertise needed when working with non-profit and volunteer boards.
- 4. Leave your environment better than when you found it. Is there anything worse than walking into a messy wood shop with wood shavings scattered all around?
For me to be better – to do better for my company – I pay attention to my short-comings, and seek guidance from others that don't look or think like me. By surrounding myself with diverse people from various backgrounds, I'm keenly aware of my shortcomings. I also get a better sense of how others interpret the world, how they use their homes, and what motivates them. For example, my wife has also built a rewarding career in the security industry, and I have learned so much from watching her work. She is a much better salesperson than me, and a much better listener. I'm also learning from our Brand Ambassadors about what the next generation wants. It's the greatest job I've ever had – we're successful, because we're making our customers more successful and we're all pushing each other to be our best.
The future is brighter than the past for our industry. We've had a phenomenal past – and I don't take anything away from the industry that we built. But our future really is brighter, and it's up to my generation that's preparing to retire in the next 5-10 years, to set up the next generation for success.
*Bio: Jason Lutz started his career in the security industry in 1992 and has been on every side of the business: from security sales to owning a security company, to seller and installer to service member and payroll. In 2002, Jason joined Honeywell, now Resideo Technologies, Inc., and has held various security sales leadership roles. In his current role as Brand Ambassador Sales Leader and Industry Affair Leader, Jason helps make Resideo’s distribution relationships more successful through the support of the Brand Ambassador Program. Now in its second year, the Brand Ambassador Program, a international, next-generation sales force, helps deepen relationships with professionals and distributors.
Through the program and other Resideo partnerships, Jason helps create new career opportunities for students to pursue careers in the HVAC, security and smart home industries, while also helping to address the talent shortage in residential construction.
Jason also supports the professional security industry through his involvement on various industry boards. Jason was elected Treasurer to the board of directors at Mission 500, a nonprofit organization that advocates for underserved children and families in North America, and he is an Associate Member Director at Electronic Security Association (ESA), serving members from the Security and Connected Home Industries largest manufacturers, distributors, central stations and support partners. He has served on the ESA board since 2017. Most recently, he is involved in HVAC Distribution Association’s HARDI organization and was selected to the HARDI DE&I (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) Council. In his free time, Jason is an artist and carpenter with a custom woodworking business.