HomeWork features AHAM members’ insights on careers, success, life outside of work, and AHAM membership. This month, we spoke with Patricia Bassett, Vice President, Research and Development, Appliances and Cookware at Newell Brands, and First Vice Chair of the AHAM Board of Directors.
Name three goals (personal or professional) you are pursuing in 2018.
1. At Newell Brands, we have recently gone through some significant changes and have been in a period of transition. I will be focused on integrating in new team members and learning the strengths of the team.
2. As the leader of a geographically dispersed team, I’d like to expand my global relationships with more face-to-face presence in the global offices.
3. Personally, in 2019, I look forward to helping prepare my son for high school, which I’m sure will be an exciting but sometimes crazy transition.
How do you jumpstart your morning?
Most days, I’m up before 6 a.m. and off to the gym to get some exercise in. I enjoy this time of the morning, when I find I do my best thinking and planning. I then look forward to a large cup of coffee with a dash of cinnamon.
Predict an innovation that will revolutionize the next generation.
I find the concept of augmented expertise in the kitchen to be very interesting. It is the combination of things such as sensors, voice recognition, apps and other technologies to help novice cooks produce expert results in the kitchen. Today, amateurs are going from zero to 60 much faster.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Early on, I had a career in the military, where I had a commanding officer whom I respected incredibly. His ability to lead people was like nothing I had ever seen. He once told me something that I have never forgotten. He told me that people must be led in ways that inspire trust and confidence. If you have their trust and confidence, they are transformed into willing followers. I try to incorporate that into my own leadership style, because I have seen firsthand how successful it can be.
What home appliance can you not live without?
For me, it’s the coffeemaker. That first cup of coffee has become such an integral part of my morning routine. It feels like a treat!
What do you gain from your involvement with AHAM?
I truly enjoy the time I spend with the AHAM staff and members. Being surrounded with a network of like-minded professionals and the passionate, dedicated AHAM staff is very fulfilling.
Additionally, it is not easy to stay abreast of what’s new in the industry when you’re absorbed with the day-to-day management of your business. I truly appreciate the way AHAM stays on top of industry trends, whether it is through meetings that feature a speaker, or newsletters, emails and other publications.
What is your best advice you have for somebody who wants to succeed in the home appliance industry?
Use the products you develop and manufacture! Experience what your consumers will experience. Using your product helps you recognize what is important, and what is not, to your users.