Friday, October 30, 2009

Bob the Leader

Bob the Leader has been a leader as long as I've known him. I learned this first-hand way back in ninth grade when he told me he was into reading and writing poetry.

Back in the day of our Catholic all-boys hormone hot-dish, a place our Benedictine masters had us believe was high school, guys didn't tell other guys those things unless they had the stuff to live dangerous lives of saints-in-waiting-to-be-stoned or maybe as leaders of a community of some sort some day.

Turns out Bob's now leading a community. His makes its way in the cut-throat competitive construction materials business.

They're doing well in this economy. And Bob the Leader's doing it the way he did it in ninth grade: leading with the heart of a poet; maybe as the only poet in the cut-throat construction materials business.

How's that for dangerous....

Bob the Leader's seen this kind of economy before. Last time was the early 90s. That's when Bob nailed the deal to supply and deliver the drywall for The Mall of America. And all that drywall for the Mall of America is how he and his team and maybe even America beat the recession back then.

His secret was the same in the 90s as it is now: "Old fashioned values like hard work, honesty, doing what we say we're going to do, never lose their sense of fashion, and wear smartly if you're brave enough to wear them every day."

Bob the Leader goes even deeper when he cuts to the heart of Community Centricity, "Overcoming oneself is about the struggle over the destructive ego. Selfless service is what we should offer up. Success and happiness are not the primary goal, but a byproduct of service and doing the right thing."

Hey Washington, Wall Street, Cable Wide Mouths, are you listening to this guy...?

Today to make sure they're on track, Bob the Leader leads his company regularly through real-life scenarios, testing itself to see if it is holding true to its values, its beliefs.

When he does this, Bob offers one simple thought: "Bottom line should be read last, like an epilogue to a good book."

Oh my, how that is well said. And said, I should imagine, as all men of letters in the cut-throat construction materials industry would say. Makes me wonder how great it would be if more of our companies and communities had leaders as poets.

Do you know poets with the values of Bob the Leader, leaders who are poets in your midst?

Wouldn't their values wear smartly in our communities if we were brave enough to wear them daily?

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