Our APICS Inland Empire chapter went on a tour of Paulson Manufacturing, and it was simply excellent! It reminded me of how powerful the influence and impact of the CEO is on an organization. Roy Paulson, the President, not only spent considerable time with us talking about the market, his strategy, obstacles and technology but he also personally walked us around his facility.
I will dedicate a future Profit through People article to some of Roy's wisdom; however, one concept that permeated the day was the power of leadership. Roy talked about working in every job at his facility. He learned from all sorts of different people including the government. He isn't afraid to spend countless hours on what he knows could be important. He is willing to talk about failures as well as successes. And, he has so many ways of giving back to the community — and the nation — that it could take years to wind down some of these responsibilities. Do you think his people follow? Of course!
Here's our picture at the end of the tour (by his 3D printer)
One tip to implement this week:
So, perhaps you cannot join President Obama's export council this week (since this is one of Roy's many roles) but you can make progress in terms of leadership. Part of leadership is listening.
If you are in a leadership position, make a conscious effort to listen and walk in a new set of shoes for the day. You might learn something that could have a powerful impact on your business. I'd also like to suggest that you set aside time for thinking about strategy.
If you are not in a leadership position, do not despair. I cannot tell you how people I've seen who have had a profound impact — with followers throughout the company — who were not in a direct leadership role. Start building your skills. Ask questions and listen. I bet you'll pick up on something in short order that you could recommend to leadership or improve on your own, starting immediately. Let me know how it goes.