Building a Leadership Culture in Rochester
Table of Contents
- Valuable Leadership Lessons – Ty Hookway
- Leaders Build Community – Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes
- Opportunity Awaits – Bishop David J. Singleton
- Best Wishes Mikal!
- Visionary Leadership – Lisa Hill DiFusco
- Youth Corner – “A Valuable Leader” – Will Barret
- Rochester Leadership Digest Contributors
- The Global Leadership Summit
Copyright 2020 The LightHeart Institute. All Rights Reserved.
Valuable Leadership Lessons
The first time I heard about Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, NY, I was sitting in a conference in Philadelphia for the annual Conscious Capitalism gathering. I couldn’t help but feel drawn to the presentation on Open Hiring™ – a business model which affords applicants, regardless of history or personal circumstances, gainful employment, with multifaceted training to succeed. I was sold!
The motto of Greyston is simple: Eat Brownies, Change Lives. This is because, along with producing 10 million pounds of baked goods a year, they bake 35,000 lbs. of brownies per day for Ben and Jerry’s. And they do it while empowering many. Mike Brady, the CEO of Greyston explains it this way, “We don’t spend money to screen people out. Instead, we invest to bring people in who are often systematically excluded from the mainstream economy.”
Greyston has graduated 1,200 people over the past 10 years, and they, in a single year, have generated up to $18 million in wages.
Prior to learning about Greyston, Open Hiring™, and its unbelievable social impact, I spent 25 years as a serial entrepreneur. These years were laden with healthy doses of successes and failures. I often tell my customers they should hire me because there isn’t a mistake I haven’t made!
Here are some of the most important leadership lessons I’ve learned…
Failure can be your friend. Failure crushes the ego, and frees the mind. It allows the needs of others to come forward. It has allowed me to listen to others more fully, learn from them, and build the type of trust that helps others believe in themselves even more. This in turn encourages them to better use their gifts and skills.
Purpose Driven Mentality Increases Momentum – My focus and personal mission statement for both CleanCraft and my life are the same: seek to provide a high quality of life for others and the peace of God to all I encounter. Applying this tenet to all the stakeholders of my company – employees, customers, vendors, and the community-at-large, has been a significant, success pillar in my experience. While our team members understand they must meet goals and metrics, they also understand the value of being purpose-driven throughout their decision making.
Lifelong Learning Is More Valuable than Traditional Training – I’ve discovered over the years that learning through daily interaction with others is perhaps more valuable than traditional business training. We can learn from each person we come into contact with. I urge my team to reach out to others when looking for input.
Humility Opens the Heart – There’s an old saying, “The path to success is lined with failures.” Failing is tough! But it’s taught me humility. This has been critical to my leadership development. It has opened my heart to become a better listener and really hear other’s opinions.
Trust and Forgiveness Are Integral to Relationships – Both are easy to say but hard to do. In my organization, we forgive and forget fast, and focus on catching people doing things right. We talk about what we are grateful for and what we believe in and steer away from the negative. We focus on one another’s strengths and support each other while we both succeed and fail endeavoring to fulfill our mission.
Coaching and Mentoring Are Non-Negotiable – I have been blessed with amazing coaches and mentors my entire life. Now my most fervent goal is to be a coach and mentor to my team. I am resolute to talk less and listen more. With effective mentoring and coaching, my leaders have the skills to successfully manage the day-to-day activities of the company.
Sometimes I feel like an accomplished business leader but more often I consider myself to be early in the journey toward becoming a great leader. I have evolved into an effective leader by using what I have learned from my experiences.
I have purposely assembled a team with similar values. We have collaborated to make a financial profit as well as to create an extraordinary work environment.
This is what has led me to spearheading Greyston in Rochester. In collaboration with numerous local non-profit and for-profit businesses we will be implementing the Open Hiring™ business model this spring. People here are very jazzed! Mike Brady who is originally from Greece, NY is thrilled to have a Rochester hub… “It’s going to be transformative – for people, for business, and for the community.”
Ty Hookway is a serial entrepreneur, and Founder and President of CleanCraft, a commercial cleaning company in Rochester which employs over 300 people. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the College of the Holy Cross, and serves on the Board of Directors of Conscious Capitalism, BOMA, and Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, NY. Ty is married to the love of his life, Liz, and together they have seven beautiful children.
Leaders Build Community
Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes
Founder, Insightful Music Leadership
Music Director, Melody Masters Big Band
Astute leaders know that every team member’s efforts drive their organization’s success. When team members are trusted, respected, and appreciated as colleagues, they value their work and perform better.
Imagine a loving, warm embrace from parents and grandparents who lived by The Great Commandment. Imagine deep gratitude from children who developed mentally, physically and spiritually as a result of so much love. Indeed, my family was fortunate, and the desire to help others was instilled in us at an early age. When mother became a Cub Scout leader, it was me, the eldest and a Girl Scout, who helped at meetings. A family inquired about their boys joining my mother’s den since they valued the benefits of scouting, and they lived not far from us. Eager to help, mother welcomed them warmly.
Scouts held newspaper drives to raise funds; all were expected to help. Imagine that family, with a sweet, younger sister, arriving to our home with a wagon piled high with newspaper. They didn’t own a vehicle, and the trek on foot was a mile. Each person was grinning from ear to ear about their grand and surprising contribution to the drive. Soon, we were dismayed to learn that newspaper insulation taken from their home, a run-down shack, was donated to the cause. What they gave certainly was a sacrifice. From that moment, my family took a special interest and helped the family to feel they belonged. This enduring lesson demonstrates how leaders strive to recognize a need, lift others up, appreciate peoples’ gifts and talents, and build community.
Lessons learned throughout my life have helped shape my personal mission to strive daily to be a good person and serve others. My field is music, and currently I serve as a music director and a consultant. Following decades of teaching, conducting, and leadership while serving in higher education, community music, and k-12 schools, and through leadership roles with professional organizations, I continue to support others through consulting and leading a community big band.
Music directors have a unique perspective of leadership. Following years of training, we have learned how to: set the tone by sharing the vision and values; tune in by observing, listening and considering when to respond; and “harmonize” the ensemble by building a community. Success in business as well as in music and other arts organizations is a result of strong, forward-thinking leadership and a capable team that meets and satisfies customers’ needs. Leaders, who articulate their vision and emphasize values as well as performance, recognize that the team will be more likely to embrace the company’s mission and purpose. Astute leaders know that every team member’s efforts drive their organization’s success. When team members are trusted, respected, and appreciated as colleagues, they value their work and perform better.
As strong artistic leaders of professional and amateur ensembles, music directors, and their musicians, know this well. All accept the music industry’s high standard of excellence as well as a culture of mutual respect to ensure united, high quality performances. To reach that standard in rehearsals and concerts, music directors engage their acute listening abilities and powers of observation. While “reading” their musicians they instantaneously adjust and monitor the performance via non-verbal communications.
The wise music director knows that her musicians are people, first. They have families, personal needs, and career goals. While able to persuade her colleagues to commit to the organizations’ vision and values, which she helped to shape, the music director is also empathetic and offers genuine support as appropriate. Musicians are encouraged to grow in their work and responsibilities. The result is a high level of satisfaction for all, and an amazingly rich and strong community which the music director fostered and everyone chose to build together.
Marcia Bornhurst Parkes, Ph.D., is the founder of Insightful Music Leadership. Key areas of focus include leadership, engagement-service learning, musicianship and performance anxiety. Also, Marcia is the music director for the Melody Masters Big Band. Both organizations are based in Rochester, NY.
Bishop David J. Singleton
Senior Pastor of Ark of Jesus Ministries
President & CEO of Celebration of Life Community, Inc.
Since there was no organized effort in Rochester that I was familiar with and because it was in my heart to see this gathering materialize, I felt, at least I should try to see if we could do this.
Leadership has been critical since the beginning of time. It’s been said that everything rises and falls on leadership. I couldn’t agree more.
I often say we need a bus driver when talking about getting something done. You can have a bus full of folk but the bus will not move without a driver. The leader is the driver of the bus. Many will be willing to take the journey with you when you are clear about where you are going, and are doing something constructive, beneficial and worthwhile.
Take the National Day of Prayer for example. I felt a call in my heart many years ago to form a human prayer chain around City Hall and the Monroe County Office Building. My vision was one unbroken chain with a diverse group of people praying for an increased God-consciousness in our community. This came from a desire to see the Body of Christ come together and pray. It was based on the belief that God hears prayer and answers prayer. There was no organized event in Rochester at the time and I felt a strong desire to see such a gathering materialize.
When I started this event in 2012, I didn’t know what the outcome would be. I just knew I needed to trust God for the outcome.
By God’s grace, eight years later, it has evolved into a staple of Rochester. Clergy, government officials, business leaders and a vast array of community members come and join hands each year with one single intention.
This is what happens when you take a risk, venture out and do the one thing inside your heart you feel called to do. Leaders lead! They reach out beyond themselves and make a difference in other people’s lives. A wise person once said, “You don’t need to be able because God can make you able. You just have to be available.”
“I felt a call in my heart many years ago to form a human prayer chain around City Hall and the Monroe County Office Building.”
People often say “opportunity knocks.” I don’t believe in that submission. I believe opportunity stands silently by, waiting to be noticed. It may seem like an unfair exchange. We are asked to invest ourselves in something before we receive anything in return. But it is part of the sowing and reaping principle. The seed is sown before it produces. But it always produces larger than itself. We need to sow our investment of time, energy and whatever else is required. It pays over and above the investment when we are doing what we believe God wants us to do.
You may be waiting for someone else to do something that you believe really should be done. Could you be the one who should be doing it? Sometimes we are bothered because we are the one who ought to be doing the one thing we wish someone else would. Could you be that someone else?
Bishop David J. Singleton is the Senior Pastor of the Ark of Jesus Ministries and has been serving in this capacity for 36 years. He is a retired professional firefighter after 22 years of honorable service and is the Chaplain for the Rochester City Fire Department. Bishop Singleton is the President and CEO of Celebration of Life Community, Inc. and serves on several boards including the Board of Directors for The Unified Mission of Rochester, Inc. and Flower City Habitat for Humanity.
National Day of Prayer
Please join Rochester leaders Thursday May 7, 2020 outside Rochester City Hall, 30 Church St, Rochester, NY at 4:00pm to pray for our city and our nation. We will form a human Christian prayer chain, holding hands in prayer.
Please go to https://prayerinitiative.org to register for this free event.
Best Wishes Mikal!
Join us in extending well wishes to our Editor, Mikal Brown, as he carries his message of leadership excellence forward.
Not too long ago a group of us were sitting around a table discussing the best way to inspire conscious, intentional leadership in our community. We had just experienced a fire-hydrant drink of content from a world-renown, faculty of leadership experts at the annual Global Leadership Summit. Mikal, with the encouragement of another one of our leaders, Meredith Bullock, drove home the idea of the Rochester Leadership Digest and its potential for impact in the Rochester community.
As we publish our 4th edition we are so grateful to Mikal for his hard work in initiating this publication and getting the ball rolling for all to benefit.
Best Wishes Mikal!
Lisa Hill DiFusco
Founder and President
The LightHeart Institute
The lens through which we see the world determines what we experience in life.
In his book, The Art of Possibility, Boston Philharmonic Conductor, Benjamin Zander, along with his wife Rosamund, write the following:
“A shoe factory sent two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sent back a telegram saying,
SITUATION HOPELESS STOP NO ONE WEARS SHOES
The other wrote back triumphantly,
GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STOP THEY HAVE NO SHOES”
Visionary leaders are called to see possibilities where others don’t and hold that vision for the benefit of their followers. Holding a vision goes beyond feeling the success of a dream already playing out. It includes eliciting and internally celebrating what is hoped for before the eyes can see the manifestation. A famous physician spoke to a crowded room of cancer patients. “Faith,” he said, “is proclaiming the mountain-top when you’re lying face-down in the dirt.”
A visionary leader holds a picture of the future for those he wishes to inspire, elicits the feeling of the dream taking place before it is manifested, and internally celebrates the accomplishment of that dream before it is seen.
Many of us are familiar with the words, “Seeing is believing,” but visionary leaders hold fast to “Believing is seeing.”
Youth Corner – A Valuable Leader
Public Safety Committee
The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council: Youth Voice One Vision
A good leader is valuable in today’s society. Youth leaders are needed to effect change in our community. A leader is someone who is able to work well with others in order to achieve a common goal. Qualities of a valuable leader include being able to communicate well with others, while practicing professionalism. Maintaining professionalism is important to express to your coworkers that you are serious and that you want to achieve success. It’s imperative that youth step up, to make sure that their voices are heard. A valuable leader needs to know when to step up and when to step down, when to let others speak, and when to speak up. Leaders are needed today more than ever. It’s time that the youth step up, and speak up because our voices matter.
Many thanks to our featured Rochester Leadership Digest contributors-to-date for making a difference in Rochester!
Major General Robert W. Mixon, Jr. (USA retired)
Leadership Consultant, Level Five Associates
Dr. Jona Wright
Director for Human Services, Garlock Sealing Technologies
Dr. Deana L. Porterfield
President, Roberts Wesleyan College
Chairman, Home Leasing & Home Leasing Construction
Rehnuma Karim, Ph.D.
Founder, Heroes for All Inc.; Faculty, The College at Brockport, SUNY
Heidi Macpherson, Ph.D.
President, The College at Brockport, SUNY
Lovely Ann Warren
Mayor, City of Rochester
Dr. Ehsan Hoque
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Rochester
Director of Development Services, City of Rochester
Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes
Founder, Insightful Music Leadership; Music Director, Melody Masters Big Band
Bishop David J. Singleton
Senior Pastor, Ark of Jesus Ministries
- August 6 & 7, 2020 – Global Leadership Summit
Hilton DoubleTree on Jefferson Road
Register Today! RochesterWins.com
- March 18, 2020 – Between the Summits – Magnificent Diocese
7:00 – 8:30 pm; The LightHeart Institute; 21 Prince Street,
Rochester, NY 14607
- May 5, 2020 – GLSNext with Chris Voss (FBI Negotiations Expert; GLS 2019 Faculty) & Sheila Heen (Navigating Difficult Conversations; GLS 2018 faculty). Location TBA
- July 22, 2020 – Global Leadership Summit By Youth For Youth. Location TBA
People don’t leave organizations. They leave leaders. To strengthen your organization, help your people to be needed and help them to be known.
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