By Scott Hennie, 2014 MHEDA President
The theme for this year’s MHEDA Convention and Exhibitors’ Showcase is “Superhero Leadership.” The General Session speakers will focus on leadership topics including: decision making, employee engagement, planning based on economic outlooks and applying family dynamics to the workplace. The highlight will be Sal Giunta, this year’s keynote speaker. The heroic actions of Staff Sgt. Giunta earned him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration.
Staff Sgt. Giunta earned the honor during his second deployment in Afghanistan. I won’t tell his story, but I will share that Staff Sgt. Giunta displayed Superhero Leadership from within the ranks of his platoon – teaching us that leadership doesn’t necessarily come from title or rank, but from character, value and principles. Staff Sgt. Giunta’s profile states, “I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.” These are values and principles to which any Superhero Leader would be proud to subscribe. Have you identified the leaders within the ranks of your organization?
All of our organizations have leaders within their ranks who display leadership in the course of their daily work through commitment to the company, support of teammates, level of competency and the trust they establish with customers, manufacturers and teammates. Our responsibility as leaders of our organizations is to recognize internal leaders and give them the opportunity to enhance their role in the company. Perhaps tl1ey will even become future leaders in the industry.
The MHEDA Convention is a great venue to provide future leaders the foundation for development. Beginning with the new Emerging Leaders Reception, multiple general sessions, educational workshops and networking events, our future leaders will be able to take their experience back to the workplace and enhance their role in the organization. The people they meet and relationships they establish will help them to build their network, just as we have all built our network within the industry.
In addition to Convention, MHEDA has multiple education and training programs geared to development of our future leaders. The Emerging Leaders Conference to be held in Chicago this July is coming off rave reviews about last year’s conference. This conference offers Emerging Leaders in your organization the opportunity to learn how others have developed and grown to become leaders in their organization. It also will teach the skills and knowledge needed to lead an organization. Like Convention, it will offer the chance to meet other Emerging Leaders in the industry and further enhance their industry network.
How many of your internal staff participates in a MHEDA-Net group? MHEDA-Net is one of the most consistent networking programs within MHEDA. Encourage your Emerging Leaders not only to join a MHEDA-Net group, but to actively engage, share and participate in the calls, face-to-face meetings and remote events such as the Regional Network Summits. MHEDA-Net is repeatedly recognized as one of the most valuable programs MHEDA has to offer; show your leadership by actively making it part of your organization’s culture.
One of this year’s Critical Impact Factors deals with retaining top employees and developing a culture that motivates and develops existing employees. What better way to show your Superhero Leadership than to recognize the future leaders of your organization and develop a plan and programs to help them reach their and your goals? Find the Staff Sgt. Giuntas in your organization and let him or her develop into the next generation of Superhero Leaders.