Sherley’s Pearls of Wisdom

Change is Inevitable. Work with It.

Throughout her Caterpillar career, Sherley has seen an unbelievable amount of change. “Nothing stays the same. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but you do the best you can,” Sherley says. When asked about the hardest change she’s seen, her answer is definitive. “Automation,” she says without hesitation. How does she cope? A can-do attitude is Sherley’s best change management tool. “I realize that I don’t work for myself, I work for Caterpillar. Change is going to come, and being from the old school, I might not like everything about it. But I refuse to be outdone. I am not going to walk away from something without first giving it my all.”

Do Your Best.

Sherley’s been an anchor in the torque department for the past 30 years. “I’ve seen a lot of people come and go,” she says noting that she’s especially drawn to young people who come through the door. “I see the young ladies and the young men who come through the door and I wonder what they’re thinking about.” Words of wisdom for the young and young at heart? “Do the best job you can. Be your own person. Do what’s required of you and you can grow from here. If you do the things that make you valuable to this company, in return, it will treat you good.”

Maintain a Positive Attitude.

Sherley’s positive attitude and commitment to hard work never waivers. And, although her path was inevitably altered by a world that doesn’t stand still, this is one lady who’s keenly aware that she has had the freedom to make choices along the way.  “I’m a firm believer in the power of choice. My life is up to me – if it is to be, it’s up to me. But you have to work at it, and sometimes it’s hard. You have to adapt to changes. Maybe you don’t always want to, but you manage it and make the best of what’s in front of you. If you maintain that attitude, you can’t go wrong.”

Be a Listening Leader.

Sherley demonstrates natural leadership, and people are drawn to her casual warmth and openness. When asked about memorable leaders from her own career, Sherley recalls many colleagues who’ve influenced her including HR Manager Dave Willhire. “Dave is a person I admired because he listened. No matter when I called him, he would always say, “C’mon up and talk to me. My door’s open.”

Keep Your Memories – and Dreams – Close.

Sherley maintains goals that keep her looking forward – like going back to school and traveling the world with her grandchildren. But she also remembers to cherish memories from the past. “During my tenure here at Caterpillar, I lost a husband. He was a good man. We had good times. I meant it when I said, ‘Til death us do part.’ Death did part us, but I have all that stored up inside. It’s still with me … all those memories,” she says softly, resting her hand on her heart.

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