Aug. 11, 2022

Becoming a More Impactful, Self-Aware, People-First Business Leader with Chris Gutkes of Island Elevator

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Personal development is a huge part of anyone’s career, even for those in the trades industry. Self-awareness, empathy, honesty, and communication are key factors to being an effective leader, business owner, and most importantly, becoming the best version of yourself.


Join me in this episode as I speak with Chris Gutkes, President of Island Elevator, a people-first company offering the most comprehensive selection of elevator products and services on Long Island, NY. As a 4th generation elevator professional, Chris has lived a life full of learnings and missteps and he’s here to shed light on each one of them in a very powerful way.


Tune in to learn how Chris came to understand the necessity of people-first communication, technological innovation, and personal development in the trades industry. (Hint: It took a lot of failing forward!)


“The biggest problem for business owners these days is putting the right people on the bus and then putting the people on the bus in the right seat.” - Chris Gutkes


What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

·       Navigating changes in society and technology as a trades professional & Why you need to embrace change, not resist it.

·       The importance of improving your communication and embracing technological innovation alongside your technical understanding of a trade.

·       How Chris uses his strengths to succeed in the elevator industry.

·       Why building talent is more effective than recruiting talent.

·       What does it mean to be a people-first company?

·       Valuable advice for people interested in a career in the trades: Define what YOU value & Find a company that invests in its employees to build upon that value.

·       Strengths, skills, and goals Chris looks for when hiring field technicians.

·       Chris’s top recommendations for getting a job in skilled trade.

·       How getting sober and practicing mindfulness and empathy impacted his life and leadership.

·       Chris’s Learning and Misstep: Failing is part of the job, but it teaches you A LOT!


“You can’t just close your eyes and pretend things aren’t happening because while you’re waiting on hold to order your pizza, mine’s already in route because I ordered it on DoorDash. That’s where the elevator industry is going, that’s where HVAC, plumbing, electric, everything’s going to be remote monitored, touching through different platforms  It’s not harder, it’s just different.”        - Chris Gutkes

Watch this episode on YouTube:

Connect with Chris:

Connect with him on LinkedIn: 


Resources Mentioned: 

Island Elevator: 

Listen to the LnM episode with Edward Rivera: 

Listen to Diary of a CEO with Malcom Gladwell: 

Simon Sinek on YouTube: 

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss: 

Chris Do of thefutur: 

Extreme Ownershipby Jocko Willink: