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Dearborn leadership meeting
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I’m at the spring “Get Energized” event for the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce (that’s Indiana... not Michigan).  It could be entitled “Lessons in Leadership”.

The speaker is retired Proctor & Gamble executive Paul Fox. Paul was the Director of Corporate Communications and VP of Strategic Innovations at P&G. He has been recognized as a worldwide leader in public relations, is deeply involved in various Cincinnati leadership programs, maintains a consulting firm, serves on boards throughout the country and teaches at Xavier, Northern Kentucky and the University of Oxford in his native England.

Interestingly, he introduced his talk by commenting on choices.  Luck has very little to do with the successes (or failures) we enjoy.  Gary Player once quipped, “The more I practice, the luckier I get” in response to a fan who commented how “lucky” he was to make 3 bunker shots in a row.

Great Reminders...

  • It’s the people you meet and those who impact you help you create success.
  • Never be afraid to make mistakes - we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.  (But fail quickly and fail cheap LOL)
  • Sometimes you have to work really hard to find the people who will say ’yes’ instead of ‘no’.  New opportunities, new discoveries come from people who say yes.
  • NEVER give up.  (Paul Fox is British - he tells the “Tide” story like Winston Churchill)
  • Sometimes being a leader means that no-one follows you... the lonliness of leadership can sometimes feel like a prison.
  • Most entrepreneurs aren’t recent grads - many are in their 40’s and 50’s!
  • This century will see the most dramatic change ever.
    • 3 billion people in the middle class
    • not understanding the changes and implications are some of the greatest risks we face in business.
    • you can’t afford to lose touch with the consumer you‘re serving.  (Ie. Gillette still had the best blade, but consumers wanted more - the experience beyond the bathroom sink - and Gillette failed to act. - Think Dolalr Shave Club and Harry’s)
  • Stategy is great - but the only strategy anyone ever sees is execution.
  • Don’t forget the journalistic questions!!  Who, what, when, where, how and why.  The “gang-leader” question - WHY.  Why gives us insights and that determines everything.

Why... changes everything - Insights that uncover treasures that change lives.

I LOVE how he finished his talk - Winston Churchill!

  • Understood the power of words
  • A great sense of humor
  • ”There are only two things more difficult than making a speech - climbing a wall that is leaning towards you and kissing a girl that is leaning away from you”.

This was a terrific event!  Great to see many of Dearborn County’s businesses represented!