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Jim McShane shares his thoughts on the next generation of leaders

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Back when Jim McShane entered the business world, real estate consisted of working in all departments. Hired right out of college in 1968, he began his career working for Rauenhorst Construction Co., now known as Opus Group, as a structural engineer. After settling with the company in Minneapolis, McShane was doing more than designing— he did construction, net leases and spec buildings, too.

Back when Jim McShane entered the business world, real estate consisted of working in all departments. Hired right out of college in 1968, he began his career working for Rauenhorst Construction Co., now known as Opus Group, as a structural engineer. After settling with the company in Minneapolis, McShane was doing more than designing— he did construction, net leases and spec buildings, too.

“I did some design for the construction but in those days, it wasn’t broken down into categories, we did all the things there,” McShane, CEO of McShane Cos., explained. “We didn’t call it just construction or leases, it was just a business that did all of those and later on, it developed more categories. We did all of the above.”

It seems like there weren’t any limits for McShane. He continually worked his way up, even ran against two others for the president slot, but ultimately, it was time for him to move on.

And he did— in 1984, he started The McShane Companies.

McShane remembers this time as one of his most unforgettable real estate experiences.

“It was certainly going out on your own that was exciting,” he noted. “It was certainly memorable."

The firm is especially focused on customer support and holding true to the company’s ethics, according to McShane.

“We try to hire people that are good with customers,” he said. “We try to be the best we can. We have ethics programs for employees every other year. We’re good with our integrity.”

As for what’s been the most rewarding part of his job, McShane said it has to be watching the next generation of leaders coming through and developing strong development programs, which he said  means a lot to him.

“Being able to watch them grow and develop and providing leadership as they grow in their careers,” he added.

As CEO of all the companies, McShane said he oversees the division, and works hard at strategic planning the career development of the next generation of leaders. Not to mention, he provides a lot of help and enthusiasm for those in the company.

The companies have had quite a bit of success lately, especially in the industrial sector. McShane Construction recently provided the design/build construction of a 136,920-square-foot tenant suite in Elgin, Illinois, for Illinois Tool Works (ITW), and McShane Development provided the comprehensive tenant improvement services for Kellogg’s within Union Pointe Building Three, a 256,880-square-foot industrial facility in Woodridge, Illinois

Projects aside, there are certainly obstacles that can hinder business and McShane addressed the challenge he sees in today’s market:

“I think it’s to find land that can be developed at a reasonable time frame,” he said, adding that it’s real spotty. “It takes years where you keep looking, looking and looking and then eventually, you’ll find one that works.”

Outside of work, McShane likes to spend a lot of quality time with his grandchildren. Additionally, traveling, skiing, and golfing also topped his list of hobbies.