Editor's note: United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Angela Braly at their bi-monthly professional development lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the event and summary of Angela's presentation.
Know who you are
This theory is simple. You have to know who you are, or everyone else will have the opportunity to tell you who you should be. For Angela, knowing who she is is reflected in three simple principles: First, do the right thing. Second, always do it for the customer. Finally, do it right the first time. Angela believes that these principles are of the utmost importance. The path that you should choose, the decisions to make, might not always be clear. However, if you know that you are acting in an effort to do the right thing, you can rest assured that you will end up at the right outcome.
Take the biggest risk that you can. Oftentimes, we stay in a seemingly secure spot, thinking that we are on the right track, knowing that we are comfortable. The reality is that you might be missing out on a great opportunity by playing it safe. Angela suggests that you find the biggest, messiest risk you can and go for it. For women, she talked about the “double bind” – how do you combat the perception that women are less likely to take risks? Angela says start small, put yourself out there a little more than you are comfortable doing. Push yourself to take small, calculated risks until you are ready to make the leap on a larger one.
For Angela, working as a waitress turned out to be a life-changing lesson. That job taught her what serving really meant and led her to hold service of others as a top priority as she progressed through her career. Her advice? Flip the pyramid. Serve those who work with you and for you. Make sure you are serving your boss and your customers. Providing those around you with what they need (skills, training and information) to serve others will ensure everyone’s success. Specifically, Angela says that she always begins the week with the intent to serve. Starting the week in that mindset ensures that she does the best job possible.
Angela then went on to answer a few of our questions:
When do you know that the risk is one to take?
When you are faced with making a decision regarding a risky situation, take stock. Are you trying to talk yourself out of it because it makes you uncomfortable? Is it because of fear? If so, work backwards. Assume that the risk will be worth it and make note of possible outcomes. Look honestly at any negatives. Then go with your gut.
For women, specifically, how do you balance being modest with being confident and talking up your skills?
Be aware of the “double bind.” Formerly called the glass ceiling, the double bind refers to the constant balance that women must keep. You can’t be too aggressive; you can’t be too modest. It’s a constant battle. Angela suggests that it’s not always about the large battles, but often about facing and effectively handling small challenges along the way. Women, be aware that you have a narrower walk to take, but always be yourself. Don’t worry too much about being too aggressive, too shy – just be genuine. Be who you are, be secure in your skills and go forward confident. When you are yourself, while remaining aware of bias, of any issues, you will enjoy your job and your career more.
How do you balance work and family?
It helps to have a great partner and, ultimately, you have to make choices. Acknowledge that there is no way to balance everything that you’ll want to do. Realize that every choice will have a consequence. Most importantly, make a commitment to “be here now.” When you are at work, be totally at work. When you are home, be totally at home. Everything is a trade-off, and everyone has
to find the balance that is best for them.
Have you had a mentor who has helped you in your career?
Yes! Having a mentor is crucial to learning new career lessons, getting advice and moving yourself forward. Angela credits her mentor with showing her how important philanthropy can be to your career and what you are remembered for. She encourages young professionals to think outside the box when it comes to finding a mentor. There won’t be one magical mentor in your life, and the most impactful relationships may not be with a person who is a formal mentor. Take the initiative to staff your own mentor team. Pick people whom you admire, even if you just admire them for their philanthropic service or the way they interact with their family. Realize that sponsors within your organization can also be very helpful. Bottom line, look around you for people with skills you want to strengthen and reach out. Odds are, they would love to help.
Want to check out our next Professional Advancement Series Session? Click here.
--Katie Hammer, senior manager, donor relations, United Way of Central Indiana
Editor's note: Earlier in November, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Barb Branci at their bi-monthly professional development lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the event and summary of Barb's presentation.
"The ultimate skill is being able to lead people through change."
- Barb Branic
Recently, a group of Emerging Leaders had the privilege of hearing from Barb Branic, former president of Regions Bank. As our latest professional advancement series speaker, Barb inspired the whole crowd with thoughts like the one above. Even better: she reminded us all that we are unique, talented leaders with our own strengths and talents that set us apart. Barb’s remarks were focused on tapping into your 90%...stepping beyond your comfort zone – your typical 10% – and making yourself better.
Barb's ten ways to tap in to your 90%
- Nail down values, figure out strengths, figure out developing opportunities. Take the time now to figure out who you are, what you’re great at and what you need to work on.
- Be able to lead people through change. Change is tough on everyone and leading people through that change can test even the strongest leader. Be the calm in the storm, the person that others can look to and consult with when things are tough.
- You need to be a compass, not a weather vane. Develop your skills so that you can see the big picture. Be prepared to be proactive and strategic, not just reactive, and to recognize when something is truly important to you. As one of Barb’s favorite quotes states: "Great leaders get a few big things right." (Colin Powell)
- You are the CEO of your life! Figure out your strengths, even those hidden ones, and put them into your CEO toolbox.
- Have a great attitude, don’t be negative.
- Pick a mentor!
- If you need to work on a skill, choose someone who does it well and ask them for their help.
- Sound like you are sure of yourself and don’t wimp out! Especially in your professional life, be confident and assertive.
- Be open to all experiences and go into every situation asking "What can I add to my toolkit?"
- Know your core values and recognize what comes first for you. Is your family your top priority? Always keep that in the forefront of your mind and make decisions accordingly.
Thanks for the great advice, Barb! Emerging Leaders, be sure to join us for our next professional advancement series session.
--Katie Hammer, senior manager, donor relations, United Way of Central Indiana
Editor's note: Earlier in July, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Reggie Jones at their bi-monthly professional development lunch. Read on for Alli Latislaw's recap of the event and summary of Reggie's presentation.
Are you living a purposeful life? Reggie Jones, our guest speaker for the July Emerging Leaders Professional Advancement series lunch, spoke on what a purposeful life meant to him and the impact he has made on the community. He is the owner of six McDonald’s restaurants in Indianapolis and the founder of McMiracle. To Reggie, a purposeful life is being strong in your faith, giving back to the community, and mentoring individuals.
As a high school student growing up in Mobile, Alabama, Reggie Jones always knew he wanted to be in the restaurant business. After the serving in the Army, graduating from college and getting married, he relocated to New Mexico, where he managed a Hamburger Stand (now Wienerschnitzel). After a few years, he moved to Denver, Colorado to own his first McDonald’s restaurant in 1989. When he was presented with the opportunity to move to Indianapolis a few months later, he jumped at the chance. He is now the owner of six McDonald’s restaurants in the central Indianapolis area, including the newly remodeled location off of 57th Street. (P.S. Those renovations were done by Emerging Leader Mamon Powers of Powers and Sons Construction!)
Reggie enjoys being part of the community and giving back. His first philanthropic contribution started in Denver when he began using his restaurant’s PlayPlace for private birthday parties for underprivileged children. Once he moved to Indianapolis, he started McMiracle during the holidays at the 38th and Meridian McDonalds. McMiracle is an annual, one day gathering where hundreds of bicycles and toys are given away as a reward for good grades in school. Last Christmas, Reggie was able to give away over 700 bicycles!
At the end of Reggie’s motivating presentation, the crowd asked some great questions about his stores and mentor program. Here are some of our favorites.
Q: How do you handle challenging stores?
A: Reggie has adapted and changed for the environment he works in. He has grown over the years and is will to do whatever it takes for his employees to be successful. McDonalds also does a nice job of structuring the company. Each McDonalds is set up on a system. This system helps to keep in place all the employees, managers, menus, and restaurant guidelines.
Q: What is your mentor program and who do you mentor?
A: Reggie Jones is a mentor to anyone who is willing to listen. Mentoring to him is about giving words of encouragement and lending a helping hand. He enjoys mentoring his employees the most because he feels like he can connect with them because he understands what they are going through and what it feels like. Reggie has also had the pleasure of mentoring other franchisees because he wants everyone to succeed and not just his McDonalds.
Check out photos from the event here. Thanks again, Reggie! We can’t wait for the next event of our new Professional Development series, featuring Barbara Branic. Keep an eye on our calendar and make sure to register!
--Alli Latislaw, major gifts intern, United Way of Central Indiana
Have you heard about United Way's Emerging Leaders? These young professionals age 40 and under help serve the community and give back to kids and families in need. They also get the opportunity to connect and build relationships with other influential professionals and leaders in the community.
United Way has added a new event series for Emerging Leaders that begins in May - partnering with teacher, mentor and 30-year business leader Doug Braly to present an empowering professional development series. The series of speakers is designed to advance business and community leadership. It's a great opportunity led by some of Central Indiana's most prominent leaders. The speakers will cover a variety of topics and provide insight on gaining credibility at work, the value of continuous learning and strategies on how to become more influential.
The kick-off speaker for the Emerging Leaders Professional Advancement Series is Jack Barber on May 17. He's served as the PGA Gold Professional at Meridian Hills Country Club for the past 27 years. He was named the National PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2009, and was a 2011 inductee into both the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame and the PGA National Golf Professional Hall of Fame. It's a great opportunity for Emerging Leaders, and we thank you for your continuous support to United Way.
For more information on Emerging Leaders and the Emerging Leaders Professional Advancement Series, please contact Katie Hammer at 317.921.1357 or email@example.com.
–Katie Rethlake, communications intern, United Way of Central Indiana
Editor's note: In April, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Scott Wise at their quarterly leadership event. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the event and summary of Scott's presentation.
Where can you get good beer, juicy burgers, and the ever-popular dill chips? If the first place that comes to mind is Scotty’s Brewhouse, you guessed right. Scott Wise, the philanthropist, president, and CEO of a Pots and Pans Production (you may know him as the owner of Scotty's Brewhouse, Thr3e Wisemen and Scotty's Burger Joint), was our guest speaker at the April Happy Hour. This local grew up in Indiana and created his restaurant with three basic fundamentals: beer, wings and sports. We’re on board with that! Add his hand-crafted beer, and there is no wonder why Scotty’s Brewhouse is the talk of the town.
At a young age, Scott realized that everyone had something special about them, and his gift was being part of an amazing family. Growing up, he was not sure what he wanted to do in life, like most of us, and he was trying to fill the shoes that his parents had laid out for him. In college, he worked as a dish washer and fry cook at the local Applebee’s in Muncie and also bartended at Dill Street (a local bar). After college, he took a job at Oshmen Sporting Goods in Texas, writing copy for advertisements. Realizing that he did not like his job in Texas, he decided to stop running from home and head back to Muncie, Indiana. With motivation and drive, the 22 year-old decided to open up his first restaurant in 1996 and called it Scotty’s.
The first restaurant was hand-created by Scott. He cleaned, drafted the menu, was the cook, waited on tables and bartended all at the same time. As the only employee of the restaurant, he had to prepare food and cook pasta in his parent’s kitchen at night just to keep up with business the next day. Soon, he decided to hire his sister and now-wife to help out with the workload, and built a new building with the help of his dad. The quick success of his first restaurant led him to open a second restaurant at age 25 - Lucy Lucy in Muncie. Within the first few years of the second store being open, the recession hit and hit hard. The business was in a downward spiral and he wasn’t sure how he was going to pay rent and utilities or meet payroll. During those three years of business, he lost over a million dollars and eventually had to close Lucy Lucy. He actually just paid off the last payment from Lucy Lucy a few years ago. After closing the doors at Lucy Lucy he took the materials from the store and trusted his college roommate (now the COO of the company) with opening another Scotty’s in Bloomington. It was a huge hit in the IU college town.
Scott’s "breaking the mold" business theory is a now a guideline for the success of his other businesses. With his small executive team of 15 people, he has branched out to new business concepts like the organically-focused Lakehouse, the Burger Joint in Columbus, and his brewery Thr3e Wisemen. Thr3e Wisemen is now tripling their brewing capacity and should have the beer in all Scotty’s locations in June. And if you find yourself not able to make it into one of these restaurants, don’t worry! Scotty’s is now offering beer delivery within a certain mile radius. Genius!
At the end of Scott’s inspiring presentation the crowd asked some great questions about success, standing out, and social media. Here are some of our favorites:
Q: What do you base your success on?
A: The people. Scotty’s first priority is not the customer but his employees. His goals are driven by them and “just ok” customer service is not ok with him. Also, Scott is detailed oriented about the tables, flowers, towels, trash...everything else has to be perfect. He said that he understands that things are not always going to be perfect but if he continues to yell, it shows that he cares.
Q: What makes you different?
A: Scott invests in his people by holding many company events and offering awesome incentive programs. For example, Scott threw the first pitch at a Cubs game, and he took 45 managers and their spouses with him for an expense-paid retreat. Also, he believes that if you invest in your people it will make the company stronger. He has an open door financial policy with employees so that anyone can see the books anytime. Some of the perks and rewards that he offers his employees are: health care allowances, hand-written thank you notes, scholarship programs, cell phones, birthday cards, gift cards and paid dry cleaning. Five year employees receive a watch, and 10-year employees get a trip for two to New York City.
Q: What is your view on social media?
A: Social media helped Scott survive the recession, because he had to cut marketing expenses. He uses social media to listen to the customers. He said that the growth of company had started to water down the brand’s personality, and with social media he was now able to virtually touch each table. When someone asks him a question on Facebook or Twitter, he personally addresses their question. This helps to extend the brand and is used for their customer relationship processes.
What great words of wisdom! Thanks again, Scott! We can’t wait for the first event of our new Professional Development series, featuring PGA Golf Professional Jack Barber. Keep an eye on our calendar and make sure to register!
--Katie Hammer, senior manager of donor relations and Emerging Leaders program manager, United Way
Editor's note: In January, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from David Resnick at their quarterly Leadership Lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the lunch and summary of David's presentation.
For our January Leadership Lunch, we were joined by David Resnick, managing partner of Katz, Sapper & Miller (KSM) and United Way of Central Indiana board chair. Since David is an Indy native, we were excited to get his perspective on how to lead, serve and get the most out of our awesome city. In his role as managing partner at KSM, David oversees the operations of the firm…big job! Keep in mind, though, that David started out at KSM in 1982 and worked his way towards the managing partner role for 18 years. Needless to say, we want to hear how he got there!
When we asked David to share his six tips for being a great leader, here’s what we got:
Treat everyone with respect and equal importance
When David was a young professional at Katz, Sapper & Miller, he met a young loan officer at the bank across the street from his office. He spent some time getting to know her and even referred her some business over the years. Eventually, that loan officer became the bank president…moral of the story? Always treat everyone you meet with respect and equal importance!
As in the case of many leaders, David has a lot of things to be proud of. He’s worked his way up to lead the firm he started his career in, he serves on the boards of numerous organizations, he gives back to the community is a big way. Despite all of that, David puts the utmost importance on being humble. He suggests focusing on what is still to be done instead of all of the great things that you’ve already accomplished.
Have a great sense of humor
As an accountant, David is well aware that he doesn’t have the reputation of being the most interesting person in the room. That being said, he tries his best to beat that stereotype by always putting his funniest foot forward. When addressing a big, serious crowd, David states that the best way to kick off your remarks is by engaging the crowd in laughter. So the next time you have an important pitch to make, stop, take a deep breath and let your best joke fly!
Realize that good people attract good people
You’re an awesome employee, right? David’s stance is that great people have great friends, and hopefully those great friends are looking for a great place to work. For that reason, KSM makes it a point to offer incentives to employees who refer their friends to the firm. The result? A firm full of hard-working young professionals...who are lucky enough to have their friends close by. If your employer doesn’t offer an incentive program, suggest it! You’ll have a favorite lunch buddy close by and your friends will owe you big time!
Always err on the side of the employee
In his role, David is often called upon to make difficult decisions. When he is caught in a tough situation, he says that it’s most important to sit back and think about what would be best for his employees. By thinking about each issue from an employee’s perspective, David can be sure that he is ready to address backlash or back in the love that his employees send his way.
Listen to the conversation
Being in a leadership role can be tough, especially when there are tough calls to make. David says to step back, listen to the conversation, hear people out and make sure that you are on point with their opinions. Then, take some time to build a consensus around the issue. Form a committee or a task force, ask employees to toss their opinion into the ring. Once you know where the group stands, use that consensus to move the issue forward. You’ll do so with the support of others and the knowledge that you’ve considered all of the information.
As always, our group finished up with some great questions. Here’s just a few:
How do you make an impact once you get involved with an organization?
As someone who serves on nine (NINE?!) boards, David is well versed on how to make an impact. He suggests that you go into the experience ready to speak up, ask questions and challenge the status quo. Most importantly, never be afraid to make your mark on an organization and bring your strengths to the table…they’ll be glad that you did!
What is the most important thing to keep in mind when leading a company?
In his time as the managing partner at Katz, Sapper & Miller, David says that the most important thing he’s done is to maintain an entrepreneurial mindset. Even if you are leading (or working for) a large company, be willing to take risks, to act quickly and to keep your employee in mind.
What great words of wisdom! Thanks again, David! We can’t wait for our April Leadership Lunch, featuring Scott Wise, owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse and Thr3e Wise Men! Keep an eye on our calendar and make sure to register!
--Katie Hammer, senior manager of donor relations and
Emerging Leaders program manager, United Way
Editor's note: In September, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Marianne Glick at their quarterly Leadership Lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the lunch and summary of Marianne's presentation.
Our September Leadership Lunch featured speaker Marianne Glick, most widely known for her philanthropic efforts in our community. But what you don't know until you meet her is that she is one passionate woman! Marianne makes it her personal mission to ignite, inspire and direct energy for positive action. Sounds to us like she is a perfect person to talk about developing into a great leader and following your passion every day.
As United Way of Central Indiana's fourth female campaign chair, Marianne is leading the charge toward this year's $39.2 million goal. A huge undertaking, indeed, but Marianne is accustomed to taking on big challenges – and succeeding. After graduating college, she began her career at her father's property management company. Five years into the job, her entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and she decided to start a business that provided cable TV service to apartments. As a young woman, she faced many barriers - people thought that she was too young, she had to recruit new business, she was leading a team of new employees, etc. In addition, Marianne found that she had 100% turnover amongst her employees in the first year of business. What?! That was Marianne’s reaction too, but she quickly set to work analyzing what the problem could be. And what she found led her to learn a great lesson about being a leader: just because you operate a certain way doesn’t mean those around you do. Once Marianne learned to focus on meeting her employees where they were, giving them what they needed from a boss, the outcome was amazing. People stayed in their jobs, got even better at them, and business was soon booming. Therefore the advice is this: when you are in a leadership role, recognize all contributions. Determine what motivates others and meet them in that place.
In 1986, Marianne founded Glick Training Associates, a firm meant to help organizations enhance employee productivity and effectiveness. She led as president of the firm until her recent retirement. In addition to her professional experience, Marianne began painting in 2004 and has become an accomplished artist, with paintings accepted into juried competitions and winning awards in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Florida. When asked about why she decided to take up painting, Marianne states that it was about doing something that she loves. When she began taking art classes, she knew that painting was something that she felt great passion for. She decided to invest time in building that talent, saying that she thinks it’s crucial to "find your special gift, find what you feel the best about doing, what makes time fly. Do more of that...you have to find what you love." To that point, Marianne invests time in painting, often passing along her paintings to assist nonprofit organizations, such as the Children’s Bureau, Girls Inc., Planned Parenthood and Dress for Success.
Marianne has extended her creativity to this year’s United Way campaign. Under her direction, we have introduced a video competition - Give Gleefully. In closing, Marianne stressed to the group that it is crucial to "find something to feel good about everyday and to make people around you feel good every day. That is the mark of a true leader." Great advice from one amazing woman! Thanks again, Marianne!
We can’t wait for the January Leadership Lunch, featuring David Resnick, managing partner at Katz, Sapper & Miller and UWCI’s board chair! Learn more and register here.
--Katie Hammer, senior manager of donor relations and
Emerging Leaders program manager, United Way
Editor's note: In July, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Brian Payne at their quarterly Leadership Lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the lunch and summary of Brian's presentation.
What do being an actor, running a Shakespeare festival and leading the Indiana Repertory Theatre have in common? If you were at our July Leadership Lunch you’d know...they’re all jobs that Brian Payne has held! Needless to say, Brian’s career path has been varied and extremely interesting. Even more interesting is realizing that all of those experiences have made him stronger...stronger in his current role as president and CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), stronger as a community leader and stronger in his conviction that Indianapolis is an amazing place to live.
When he graduated from UCLA with the goal of being a famous actor, Brian didn’t anticipate that he would end up in Indianapolis. In fact, he was determined to stay put in LA. He put in his time as an intern at 20th Century Fox, and began to realize that the entertainment industry was tough…really tough. So he refocused his efforts and decided to pursue a master's degree. His eye was now on producing, a path that led him to a role as the leader of the second largest Shakespeare festival in the United States. Obviously, his work aligned with his goals and for seven years, he was satisfied.
Then Brian started to feel like a lot of us have - he started to feel that he had stayed in one job too long and that he had ruined his career by not striving for a new position sooner. As a result, he began to be depressed, and was having trouble seeing the positive points of his situation. With those thoughts in mind, he decided to give a year’s notice at the festival, and then return to Hollywood as a producer. But as time went by, he began to dread returning to the entertainment industry and ultimately decided to apply for a position as the managing director of the Indiana Repertory Theatre. When he moved to Indianapolis, his closest friends and family were in Texas and California, but, for the first time, he was convinced that his career was on track. He stayed at the IRT for seven years and made some amazing inroads within the Central Indiana community, taking care to establish a presence within community organizations.
When the position of president was vacated at CICF, Brian knew that it would be an amazing opportunity. That being said, he wasn’t willing to compromise the relationships he had built through IRT to pursue the position. He knew that if he was meant to have the job, those hiring for the position would think of him. Since he had taken the time to build a network within the community, the hiring group did think of him. He was offered the job and instantly knew that he would finally have the access and opportunity he needed to make real impact in the community. So, the most important question is: how did Brian’s career transformation happen? How did he go from unsatisfied to loving his professional life? He has several ideas on how to initiate your own transformation:
- Figure out what you value. Seek out the things that you love, that you are really good at, and incorporate them into your career. Of course, everyone has weaknesses, but the trick is to make the most of your strengths. You can work on improving other skills or even surround yourself with others that compliment what you bring to the table.
- Realize the importance of place. One of Brian’s main passions is making Indianapolis a top ten city. He is convinced that everyone should be clamoring to live and work here. His message to young professionals in Indy is that you can come here from anywhere and find a way to get involved with community leadership. According to Brian, “If you want to change and create a community, come to Indianapolis.” His other message around the importance of place is to always be aware of whether a place is right for you. Make sure that the place matches up with your passions, your skills, and your goals.
- Create a frame for yourself and your career. You have to figure out how to make your experiences applicable to what you want to do now. Brian also believes in being the curator of your own life - manage what comes in, what stays and what is on display.
What great words of wisdom! Thanks again, Brian! And we can’t wait for the September Leadership Lunch, featuring Marianne Glick, 2011 campaign chair for United Way of Central Indiana. Learn more and register here.
--Katie Hammer, Senior Manager of Donor Relations and
Emerging Leaders Program Manager, United Way
Editor's note: In May, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Steve Walker at their quarterly Leadership Lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the lunch and summary of Steve's presentation.
As most Central Indiana residents know, the month of May is kind of a big deal. We wanted to be sure to contribute all we could to the most awesome month of the year, so we recruited Steve Walker to be our May Leadership Lunch speaker…and we’ll just say...he didn’t disappoint! Steve had some amazing advice for us, including some great quotes, a list of ten things he wishes he would have known earlier, and specifics on balancing all those things we have going on.
As chairman and CEO of Walker, Steve knows a thing or two about juggling a family, friends, career, community involvement…the list goes on and on! His main message to us was simple. You will never be as balanced as you want to be. He suggests that we don’t consider the parts of life as separate buckets, but as an integrated group of constantly moving pieces. Sometimes one piece will take more energy than the others, but that doesn’t mean that things will always be out of whack. Be patient and know that balance (as is life) is a journey, not a destination. Great advice! Read on for Steve’s list of ten things he wishes he would have known earlier, as well as his favorite source of inspiration.
Ten Things I Wish I Would Have Known Earlier - by Steve Walker
1. Life is not fair. The faster that you accept this fact, the better you will be. Evaluate your success by considering the goal that you intended to achieve and the effort you put in…not by what others think.
2. Never compare yourself to others. Obviously, this is easier said than done. Keep in mind that comparing yourself to others who have "more" than you is not beneficial. When it does happen (you know it will!), try to shift your thoughts to those who have less and consider what you can do to help.
3. Be careful of the influences that you let in. Make sure that the people around you are positive and that they give you energy and inspiration. As one of Steve’s favorite quotes says, "Friends are the people you don’t mind wasting time with."
4. Give back to the world in ways that are important to you. Choosing to do something that you are passionate about will make your experience even more impactful. In addition, focusing on helping others can be a great way to balance things you may be struggling with (work, stress, etc).
5. Be financially independent and savvy. Starting now, be responsible and aware of your finances. Make sure that you are making the right choices (knowing that they might not be the fun choices) and you’ll be better off in the long run.
6. Everyone is special. Remembering this can help you see the best in yourself and others. Try to seek out what makes each person unique!
7. Your strengths are also your weaknesses. Everyone has things that they are great at, but you must keep your weaknesses top of mind. If you are great at considering the big picture, know that you may be missing the details as a result. Good leaders compensate for their weaknesses by bringing other people to the table. Take the time to recognize the strengths of others, knowing that they could add value to what you are trying to achieve.
8. Always keep learning! The most interesting people are curious, passionate and always interested in knowing more.
9. Persevere. Don’t focus solely on the outcome. Keep an eye on what your intent is, be hardworking and move forward despite obstacles that may come your way.
10. Have integrity. Always keep in mind why you are doing something and if it lines up with your values. Make sure that you are considering the ramifications of your actions and that you are at peace with the possible outcomes.
Our group had some great questions, and (as anticipated) Steve had some great answers.
Q: Is there a correlation between your biggest trials and your biggest triumphs?
A: Absolutely! You will notice that you worst habits show themselves when things are going well and that you run your best game when things aren’t going well. Try to keep in mind that your biggest trials will make you better and that if things are looking up, you still can’t afford to get sloppy.
Q: How do you focus on your family when work takes so much time?
A: You don’t have to separate the work "you" from the family "you." Keep in mind that your family learns a lot from watching you. If you can show your kids how to balance work and family, how to build relationships, and how to prioritize things of importance, they will be equipped to do that too.
Q: How do you empower your employees to get involved in the community when you are running a small business with limited resources?
A: You want to be sure that your organization is seeking a higher goal and purpose than just making the most money possible. As a result, your staff and stakeholders will benefit. When you encourage people to have interests and passions within their community, they will be well rounded and better equipped to serve your organization well.
Lastly, Steve shared his favorite source of inspiration. Here’s hoping it will inspire you as well!
What is Class?
Class never runs scared. It is sure-footed and confident in the knowledge that you can meet life head on and handle whatever comes along.
Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes.
Class is considerate of others. It knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small sacrifices.
Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. The most affluent blueblood can be totally without class while the descendant of a Welsh miner may ooze class from every pore.
Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.
Class can "walk with kings and keep its virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch." Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because he is comfortable with himself.
If you have class you don't need much of anything else. If you don't have it, no matter what else you have, it doesn't make much difference.
Thanks, Steve, for all of this incredible advice! We can’t wait for the July Lunch, featuring Brian Payne, CEO of CICF. Be sure to register here to join us.
--Katie Hammer, Senior Manager of Donor Relations and
Emerging Leaders Program Manager, United Way
Editor's note: In February, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Vince Caponi at their quarterly Leadership Lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the lunch and summary of Vince's presentation.
We knew that our first leadership lunch of 2011 had to be a great one, so we pulled out the big guns and invited Vince Caponi to join us. Vince currently serves as the CEO for St. Vincent Health, a role that requires him to lead a network of 18 health ministries that serve 45 counties in Central Indiana. In addition, Vince serves as the Indiana/Wisconsin ministry market leader for Ascension Health. Needless to say, Vince is an expert in leading organizations and people. What a perfect person to impart some wisdom on our group!
Instead of just listing his tips for becoming a great leader, Vince framed his advice in a personal story. As a father of three daughters, Vince has mastered expecting the unexpected. That being said, nothing could have prepared him and his wife Robyn to deal with the serious illness that his oldest daughter contracted at age 17. Within days, his normally healthy daughter was admitted to the intensive care unit and was being treated for a condition called bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, or BOOP.
Vince and Robyn's priorities shifted, and they were soon spending all of their time at the hospital. As they struggled to balance all of their responsibilities, they found that being involved in their community was a saving grace. Since the family had made a mark by volunteering in the community, they had numerous people ready and willing to help. Vince credits these people with helping his family get through an extremely difficult time. He believes that making service a priority is key to making your mark, both at work and in the community. By volunteering and serving the community, Vince and his family were able to build great relationships...and those relationships helped them get through the tough times.
Vince's moral? You never know what life will hand you, so take the time to help others. Volunteer and serve now – the relationships you build will be the ones that help you through your hard times. Vince's daughter recovered and currently has 80% use of her lungs. She has continued to achieve her goals as an opera singer and teacher. It's amazing what relationships can do!
Our group had some great questions for Vince. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: How do you balance a career and family?
A: Sometimes you do it better than others! You have to realize that balancing all of your responsibilities is just that…a balancing act. It will never be perfect and you will always have to work at making it work. In addition, keep in mind that it is crucial to keep all of your roles in mind…you might think of balancing being a parent with your career, but don’t forget about your spouse. Bottom line, Vince suggests making sleep a priority, scheduling date nights with your spouse and having regular family meals. Do those things and that balancing act should be a bit simpler….promise!
Q: How do you keep from being overwhelmed?
A: Vince suggests observing the Daily Examen. It’s a fairly simple process, but one that can help to manage stress and refocus your thoughts on what is important. At the end of your day, close the door and just evaluate…what were the light and dark points in your day? What went well and what could have been handled differently? If there were dark points, correct them immediately…apologize to the person you were harsh with, realign goals that have gotten overlooked. Taking the time to evaluate on a daily basis helps to keep things in perspective and will help you to remain calm.
Q: When hiring, what skills do you look for?
A: When Vince looks at a resume, it’s about looking beyond the obvious. He looks for people with great decision making skills and for those who aren’t afraid of a challenge. He looks for a history of volunteerism and community involvement. Bottom line, Vince doesn’t shy away from hiring young professionals…he takes a hard look at potential and character. Good news for Emerging Leaders!
Q: What are the traits of a good leader?
A: Vince says that there are several things that go in to being an effective leader. First, you have to know what people want from their job. Vince believes that most everyone needs (1) recognition for a job well done, (2) to be included on things that matter to them, and (3) to know that what they do makes a difference. However, it’s not enough just to have these three things in mind. When you are a leader, you have to know your people…what makes them feel appreciated, what makes them feel like they are making an impact? In order to learn more about people at St. Vincent, Vince walks the halls and talks with his employees. He learns about them and their lives and, in turn, they teach him about what matters.
In closing, Vince left us with several underlying thoughts. First, do the things that make a connection. Second, do what makes a difference. Lastly, strive to be the person that makes others better. Always be aware of the people who make you better and consider what you can do to influence others.
Thanks for the amazing insight and advice, Vince, we are all better for it!
We can't wait for the April lunch! We're sure Steve Walker will challenge us in new ways of thinking. He’s lined up to be the next Chamber president, and is known for his innovation and drive and for pushing the envelope. Keep an eye on our events page and make sure to register.
--Katie Hammer, Senior Manager of Donor Relations and
Emerging Leaders Program Manager, United Way