Change starts with you, the famous saying goes. It’s a mantra that Megan Hebert of Specialized Collection Systems believes in very strongly — if the industry is going to change its image, it has to start with those working in it and those leading it. It’s clear how much pride Hebert takes in the work she does; pride that she wants everyone to have. Read on to learn more about Megan, why you should never follow the best piece of advice she has ever received [Editor’s Note: 😁], and the inspiration that came from being a second-generation agency owner.
Name: Megan J. Hebert
Current Role/Job Title: President & Chief Operating Officer
Company: Specialized Collection Systems, Inc.
Length of time at current company: Ten years
Length of time in industry: Feels like a lifetime
How did you get your start in the industry?
I’m a second-generation agency owner, but I started my career at Shell Oil, obtained an MBA, and spent two years at the Hearst global media company before joining SCS. My father has always been a source of inspiration for me, and the more business experience I gained, the more I realized the kind of impact an owner can have on the people around them.
What is your career highlight so far?
The highlight of my career has been working with my team, helping them grow, and participating collaboratively in the advancement of SCS. My team truly inspires me, and the opportunity to build the business together is among the most rewarding.
When or how are you most productive?
I’m most productive when I can delegate the reactive/responsive tasks that unexpectedly emerge and proactively focus on the goals I’ve set out to achieve. I’m a list-maker by nature, and I pride myself on the ability to identify what’s urgent and important. Productivity is a function of avoiding distraction and concentrating on what matters most.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
There are many professionals I admire in this industry, too many to name here, and I’ve benefitted from their generosity and willingness to share ideas and strategies. It is a professional objective of mine to carry that spirit forward and share my perspectives with as many members of the industry as I can.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I understand my strengths. I am confident enough in who I am and in what I am capable of doing to make decisions and take action quickly, even if the decision is to delegate or consult with someone who is more suited to the task at hand than me.
What do you like most about this industry?
We live in a credit-based economy, and the very institutions we rely on for our most precious resources (our health, our homes, our education) are functionally dependent on an efficient and empathetic collections industry. I take great pride in what we do at SCS, how we do it, and the role we’re playing in the economy at large.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
All entrepreneurs are inherently driven to succeed, and I believe everyone in this industry should take pride in the work they do and the role they are playing in our economy. I suspect the most common answer to this question is some version of, ‘I wish I could change the perception of our industry from the people outside of it.’ I believe that change starts with us and how we, the members of this industry, think and feel about the work we are doing within it.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Describe a typical work day
Every day for me involves some combination of dedicated time with my family, focused energy on work, and concerted personal time for my physical and intellectual well-being.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I feel no guilt in these endeavors, but I do take great pleasure in Cabernet Sauvignon, with friends, preferably while discussing a HBO and/or a Netflix show.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do not ever respond to a lengthy list of open-ended questions from well-known industry analysts.
What are you currently reading?
“One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish“
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
That I believe in constructive collaboration. The innovations, accomplishments, and advancements of any one agency benefit every member of the industry by carrying us forward into the future. I welcome feedback and insight from my fellow industry members, and I look forward to opportunities to freely share my perspectives and insights.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?