As he puts it, Joel Shine has two jobs. One is to generate as much net cash return as possible for newco Woodside Homes' justifiably high-maintenance, anxiety-prone creditor-owners as possible.
The other is to instill his recently sucker-punched operational team of business unit leaders and associates as well as Woodside's puzzled base of customers with pride, motivation, confidence and trust.
“It's simple,” Shine says. In that easier-said-than-done way, it is simple. It's the same two jobs home builder CEOs and presidents have everywhere, irrespective of their capital structure or submarket network. The difference between simple and easy is glaring. Simple to say, hard to do.
Several insurance companies and a 15-member lender syndicate had lost patience with Woodside in late 2008 and pressed to recover $800 million they regarded as their stake. Shine worked with them toward one end: Take stock of what you've got, put it to work, and get back as much money as you can.
Getting dozens of creditors to agree to take a haircut is no mean feat, but it may have been the easy part. Now comes dealing with an obstinate, inhospitable home buying and selling marketplace, with more pain to come.
This is what Shine signed up for. “I like a good challenge. I bore quickly. Probably, like many of my more successful friends, if they had such a diagnosis back in my day, I'd have been diagnosed as ADD,” he says.
Associative disorders and compulsive attention to detail do not apparently, however, rule one another out. What associative disorders likely do is help one's ability to both multitask like there's no get out and to see problems and solutions from a prism of perspectives. Which describes Shine's chameleon capacity to tune in, focus, address, and move on amid converging urgencies.
This is interesting because Shine, the son of a home builder who's the son of a home builder, is fascinated with convergence and time. So much so that, although he's a voracious reader, one of his memorable favorites is Robert Grudin's “Time and the Art of Living.”
Here's a quote from that: “The future is like a friendly stranger, polite and patient, forever trying to get acquainted with us, forever being rebuffed.”
Time and timelines go with risk and reward. One of Shine's life's passions—apart from his family and winning in business—is skiing. One year at the end of January he dared the daunting Streif downhill course at Kitzbuhel in Austria, where the course was iced up nicely for the annual Hahnenkamm race.