As Manufacturing Month continues in Wisconsin, EFCO Finishing has had the opportunity to attend numerous events across the state, re-energizing us as we start the final quarter of the year. “The Evolution of Leadership” was the topic presented by Mark King last Thursday up in Green Bay at the First Business Bank Manufacturing First Expo. Mark was raised in Green Bay and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Upon graduation in 1980, he joined TaylorMade, then a start up, and he was elevated to president in 1999 and CEO in 2003. Under Mark’s leadership, they became the leading and most profitable company in the world. In 2014, Mark was appointed President of adidas Group North America where he is in charge of all adidas and Reebok operations in the North American market.
Mark gave a very lively and entertaining talk on leadership. Some of the highlights were as follows:
- If we continue to operate as we did in the past, it is going to be very difficult to be successful in the future.
- He asked what we are “aspiring” to be. If we don’t aspire to be anything better than average, or just cut expenses, it will be difficult to achieve anything great. You need to try to become the best. Write it down to achieve it, which he did at TaylorMade. Behaviors have to change, as does mindset to achieve something great
- Disruption is part of today’s world, so who is going to disrupt your business? You or your competition? Many leaders in today’s world are afraid or don’t know how to make decisions. A great leader creates a positive environment and gets his people thinking about the future.
Some other takeaways include that employers have a responsibility to ask their employees to think, but then the employer has to listen! Today’s really great employees are passionate, creative, and show initiative. King also mentioned “speed” wins along with flexibility.