Sylvester Hester, a 30-year veteran of the automotive industry, recently launched LM Manufacturing. It's a joint venture with Magna International, a $40 billion mobility technology company, that is thrown its support behind LM, which expects to generate some 400 jobs in Detroit.
While Magna certainly brings a lot to the table, one thing Hester, the president and CEO of LM Manufacturing, says he was looking for is when the two sides disagreed, could they work together to find a solution?
"When we did not agree, was there a receptiveness by both sides — it's just not a one-way street; both of us — that we would sit down and really listen to what your business partner was saying," he says. "And there were areas that we just did not agree and we had to approach it from a couple different angles. And we found out that once you listen and once we understood what the other person was bringing to the table, their perspective, why they felt the way they are — because we're all just a product of our experiences — and what we found out is that, I draw back to that multiplier effect; I see your point here and I'm going to not necessarily conceded on this one but we're going to let you take the lead in this particular area."
Hester spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about the process of launching the business, how the opportunity came about and the importance of being a job creator in Detroit.