LEADER2LEADER: Danielle Anderson

HOW DO YOU DEFINE LEADERSHIP?

Danielle Anderson: Leadership is the ability to instill confidence and inspire others to be the best version of themselves.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION THAT YOU CAN MAKE AS A LEADER IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

Danielle: As a leader, I strive to make roles more than “just a job” for my coworkers. We spend more time together than we spend with our families. I make sure I “show up” in so many ways, set an example, build trust, show compassion, and reward hard work.

LEADER2LEADER: Patrick Sheffers

HOW DO YOU DEFINE LEADERSHIP?

Patrick Sheffers: Leadership is the act of driving a committed mission, and continuously delivering positively to better a group or organization.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION THAT YOU CAN MAKE AS A LEADER IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

Patrick: The biggest and most important decision I make every day is to remain positive. You can’t always control what comes at you, but you can control how you react. Staying positive helps me focus and be efficient. It also affects the people around you and allows you to lead through example.

WHAT IS ONE MISTAKE YOU OFTEN SEE OTHER LEADERS MAKING?

Patrick: I have seen leaders who do not pay particular attention to emotional intelligence really damage the trust that people have in them. One of the most harmful things you can do as a leader is to lose control of yourself.

LEADER2LEADER: Lori Green

Define leadership.
If you don’t have self-awareness, you can’t lead other people.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
I’ve learned great things from the many leaders who I’ve encountered. I’ve worked for Kraft and Newell Brands, and I had a short stint at the Kellogg Company. While I was able to take things from great leaders at each of those places, I’ve learned that I want to manage in my own way which may be different.

What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
One of the things that I do for business development marketing is to help teams and other executives craft how we’re going to market back to somebody whether it’s a proposal, qualification packet, or whatever. I decide where my team is going to spend their time and that dictates where the whole group is going to be directing their energies.

LEADER2LEADER: Josh Iocca

Define leadership.
Leading multiple people to a desired vision.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
I pull from anybody that I come in contact with, even my kids on the baseball field. I watch how kids interact, and usually there’s a leader that steps out of the crowd. It’s always interesting to see what causes that. And, I do that in working life. Everyone I come in contact with, I learn something from. If I had to give you two people, the ones that stick out the most (are) definitely my wife, a remarkable person (who) gives me honest feedback, (and) professionally, Mark Welch, director of global systems at Flowserve, (who) is pushing me to look past my limiting beliefs that I’ve placed on myself and is causing me to think beyond myself.

What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
Every decision I make is important, and (each one is) the most important at the time.

LEADER2LEADER: Deborah Jackson

Define leadership.
Teachers, individually or collectively, influencing others to improve teaching and learning for students.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
Linda Comer, my child’s elementary principal. Her focus was on building relationships with all the students.

What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
Being a teacher-leader, you have to first facilitate the increase of student learning and achievement. As an individual teacher, you have to be willing to take some risks.

LEADER2LEADER: Rick Searing

Define leadership.
The ability to get a group to come together around a goal.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
My wife has always had the ability to keep me focused and to be able to separate the things that are really important and non-negotiable from the things that might seem like an attractive option in the spur of the moment—an option that maybe in the short term looked great, but in the long term might not be where you really want to end up. One example I can think of is when we first moved to Michigan. We relocated from Arizona in 2002 to Kalamazoo. As I was looking for different positions, there were a few that seemed like in the short run they would be good positions to have, but in the long term it wouldn’t have led to the kind of success that I think we’ve had since we moved here. (She) pointed those kinds of things out to me.

LEADER2LEADER: Troy Cuvelier

Define leadership.
Inspiring, always learning, educating, optimistic, listening, caring, compassionate, appreciative, team-focused.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
My grandmother. She instilled in me, from early on, to always be a good person, treat other people the way you want to be treated, and to work hard; anything worth doing is worth doing right, by giving it 150 percent.

LEADER2LEADER: Sophia Quinn

Define leadership.
The ability to bring a group of people together to attain a common goal.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
My director when I worked at Blue Care Network-Great Lakes, which is our HMO subsidiary; her name was Sandy O’Connor. She promoted me from a regional leadership position into a corporate one, where I oversaw all Blue Care Network-Great Lakes customer service operations. She took me under her wing to guide me and to develop me in a way that I didn’t feel she was micromanaging me. She had one phrase that really stuck out in my mind, and I share it with my team today: “Mean what you say, and say what you mean in your communications.” It has resonated so, that when I say something, people who know me know that my words are very deliberate. She was a great role model. I attribute probably the greatest leadership growth to her.

LEADER2LEADER: Dan Jaqua

Define leadership.
Observation brings understanding. Understanding brings tolerance. Tolerance brings direction. Direction brings followers.

To me, that’s what leadership is. Observation is the ability to observe what’s going on—the ability to observe in any sector of leadership. Observation brings understanding—understanding of perspective. That brings tolerance and that brings direction and that brings people to follow you. Leadership is about following.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
In our family-owned business, it’s my dad. If I was fair, and I am fair, my mom too had a very interesting impact on my leadership.

My dad developed in me this concept of tolerance or understanding and, through understanding, you can get people to better their life. In our world, the key to this is that we’re helping people reach the next station in life. We manage 180 different business owners who are trying to get their businesses to the next level. My dad gave me the ability to get people to that next level of understanding.

My mom brought a different perspective that you don’t typically think about in leadership. She was an art major. She’s a very creative person. Creativity is so critical in leadership. The ability to think creatively is a whole different concept. The ability to have an eye for what you want is super huge in leadership, super huge, because that’s what causes people to follow you. Is what you have the creative approach, that innovative approach? She taught me to think like that.

LEADER2LEADER: Lauryn King

Define leadership.
Leadership is being a developer, raising up your team, and empowering them to learn new things and develop themselves.
Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
One person is a guy who works here. His name is Andy Short. He’s made an impact on me as a leader because he’s so trustworthy. He’s so transparent and you know, with anything that comes out of his mouth, there’s no smoke and mirrors behind it. He’s totally committed to his team. I’ve never actually worked for him—I’m on the Inclusion and Diversity Council here, and he used to be a leader on it. You want to do well so that you make him proud. He instills that in people.