In August of 2017, Laslo Bock, former Senior VP of People Operations at Google, shared a story at the Global Leadership Summit about the amazing customer service for which Wegmans is known. In front of more than 445,000 people from 135 countries, he spoke of sitting on a panel with Bob Wegman. Mr. Wegman told the story of one of his bakers who, one Saturday morning, received a call from an excited bride in desperate need. Her wedding cake had been ruined and she needed help, badly. Feeling sorry for her and quick to please, he closed his bakery for the day, prepared her cake and drove four hours each way to deliver the rich tiered dessert. Mr. Wegman spoke with pride about how his baker handled the situation. Mr. Bock ended the story by asking the audience, “Did the baker do the right thing by closing the bakery and losing all that money simply to please a bride?” Apparently, Mr. Wegman thought so.
In August 2018, by pure coincidence, another story was told about Rochester at the Global Leadership Summit. Only this time it was about the Eastman Kodak Company. A faculty member spoke again in front of 445,000 leaders from around the world. He discussed the critical role of mission in organizations and pondered the challenges of the great picture and film company. “Kodak,” he said with concern in his voice, “thought it was in the film business, when in actuality it was in the memory business.”
Two different stories, told one year apart, in front of hundreds of thousands of leaders, both about Rochester. And of all the 1300 premier host sites around the world, Rochester alone was mentioned twice in two consecutive years. I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a message here for us: the opportunity to grow in our leadership capacity and ability to influence others, is vital.
The LightHeart Institute has sponsored the Global Leadership Summit for three consecutive years for the purpose of improving leadership throughout western New York. This 100% volunteer effort has occurred as a result of the dedication of many who wish to see Rochester grow and thrive. Our purpose is to establish a leadership culture that enables leaders to effectively address our unique challenges. Imagine a thriving community!
Everything rises and falls on leadership, writes prolific author John C. Maxwell. We face very serious challenges in Rochester at this time: 18,000 homeless; the third poorest city in the nation; a dismal high-school graduation rate; far too many preschool children going to bed hungry every night. And we have yet to leverage perhaps the richest God-given resource on the planet – fresh water, and lots of it!
This year we were very blessed to welcome author and leadership guru Ken Blanchard, live, at the DoubleTree for the Summit. A NY Times best-selling author of over 65 books, Dr. Blanchard has inspired audiences around the globe for decades. And his appearance at the DoubleTree was no exception! Additionally, forty Rochester leaders joined us for a VIP luncheon to hear more on his leadership lessons – in particular from his most recently published book: Servant Leadership in Action: How You Can Achieve Great Relationships and Results. It is the editor’s pick this quarter.
The Rochester Leadership Digest is a publication of The LightHeart Institute and an outgrowth of the 2018 Global Leadership Summit. Each quarter we’ll be inviting area leaders to share their best leadership thoughts and practices. Since our goal is to establish a leadership culture, we’ll be inviting individuals of all ages to bring their best thinking to the table and communicate what has worked well.
Our fearless leader and Editor is Mikal Brown. Assisted by Advisor Frank Crombe, we welcome you to our inaugural edition. We hope you will feel inspired and equipped in reading it and will pass it along to colleagues that we may become, as pioneer John Winthrop would say, a shining city on a hill.
* The Global Leadership Summit is a two-day leadership event which provides fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content delivered by a world-class faculty. Now in its 25th year of success, the Summit is anticipated to draw over 450,000 participants from 135 countries speaking 69 languages. Simulcast LIVE in HD from Chicago, experts from every sector of society – business, faith organizations, education, government and entertainment – will take the stage to inspire and equip audience members.