Representing the leading thinkers in sales, marketing, management, etc. for speaking engagements is, in some ways, like having a life-long pass to the world’s best business school. “Best practices” teaching from the likes of Marcus Buckingham, Pat Lencioni, Kevin and Jackie Freiberg, Keith Ferrazzi, Ken Blanchard, and many more is constantly flowing through our office. Most recently, I’ve learned some brilliantly simple lessons from Pete Luongo, former President and CEO of The Berry Company and author of 10 Truths About Leadership.
Published last summer, 10 Truths is a little book packed with lessons Pete learned during his 33-year career at The Berry Company (and the great teacher called “life”) such as:
“The people who care about us the most are those who stand shoulder to shoulder with us during our most difficult times.”
“Finding and keeping good people must be the number one priority for all organizations!”
“Rules are for the weak. Uncompromised Standards of Excellence are for the strong.”
“Winners do things they don’t like to do. Average people follow their natural likes and preferences.”
“As leaders, we’ve got to give employees a sense of purpose, a set of principles, a vision, a dream, and most importantly, an environment where they can get what they want.”
The message is so simple, yet so desperately needed. There is a flood of new paradigms, new laws, new formulas, etc. coming our way every day. Yet here is a guy who has been at the top, who has achieved great success – he led The Berry Company through a period of record sales growth and established the organization as an industry leader and “a great place to work” – and he’s reminding us that the true key to organizational and personal success is… people.
What about the bottom line? What about marketing strategy? What about meeting quotas? All important, no question. Here’s what Pete says: “My belief is that, beneath the spreadsheets, strategies and psychological tests, the truths really are pretty straightforward. This book is about the ten truths leaders understand will lead to success, time and again.” It’s a focus on people that is key; not a focus on Wall Street.
And for those who still need to see the hard data, Pete wants you to know, “I’m extremely proud to share with you that in every case, the data backs up what my intuition was telling me all along.”
If you’re looking for a good read on management and leadership, I encourage you to check out this book. I can’t recommend it highly enough. And if you do pick it up, come back and share your feedback.
– Shawn Ellis, Founder and President, The Speakers Group