Three Questions With Ron Mersch
Amanda Costello, Communications
March 31, 2021
Ron Mersch joined Olsson in 2012 as the Springfield, Missouri, office leader. He started 2021 with a new role as the regional leader for Kansas/Iowa/Missouri/Arkansas. We recently caught up with him and chatted about his role and his upcoming plans. Here’s what he had to say.
Q. What is your leadership style?
A. I lead by example, and I always look toward finding ways to grow others. I’ve always felt like the only way to grow personally as a leader is to develop those around you. The greatest compliment you could ever have is to see others that you’ve helped bring along achieve the next level of leadership. My style is very collaborative. I like having eye-to-eye, face-to-face conversations, and I like understanding what each person’s goals are. It’s OK if our goals are different, but if I understand someone else’s goals and they understand mine, we can help each other achieve each other’s goals and get to where each other wants to go. It’s more about figuring out how to work together collaboratively and develop their strategies and paths to growth. The more we can grow and expand, the more opportunities there are for everybody. For those of us who are in the senior leadership role, our job is to find ways we can grow and bring up that next level of leadership. When it’s time for us to move on, we leave our positions on a good path for others and already have those folks ready to assume those roles. That’s success. If you can walk away and not have it affect the organization, that’s a sign of success.
Q. What do you think of Olsson’s reputation in the marketplace?
A. I’m pretty proud to be a part of it. To be selected for this role is kind of the highlight. I hope to do the role justice as part of my giving back to what Olsson’s given me. Great people. Great leadership.
The other thing that always inspires me about Olsson is its entrepreneurship. That’s one of the things I really want to push in the region; to not let that slide at all. We always have to look forward. That’s what I really loved when I came to Olsson. For example, after I came here and got acclimated, we saw an opportunity in Joplin, and I ran that opportunity by a couple people, and they were like, “Yeah, go for it. See what you can do.” We started poking around northwest Arkansas, and John Olsson and I came across a firm we thought would be a great opportunity to acquire if Olsson wanted to go in that direction. Leadership jumped right in, and said, “Yeah, let’s move forward. Let’s make it happen.” Because of that culture of entrepreneurship, you’re not hemmed in by walls of organization. If you come up with a good idea and a business plan, people are willing to listen. I just really enjoy that.
Q. It’s always great to get insight into a person outside of work. Do you have hobbies or interests?
A. Grandkids are now part of my hobbies. I love to scuba dive. I don’t do enough of it. I built a number of different houses in the past. We recently built a house a few years back here in Springfield. It’s never done. I’m always working on those kinds of things. I also enjoy watching sports, playing sports. I grew up playing every sport you could in Cincinnati. That’s where I got my competitive side. I’ve got five kids who are all grown now. They have families of their own. I’m constantly being called out to help with a remodel, or help with a plumbing issue, or something. It may seem strange, but I live for those moments.