10/13/10 — Sumner wins first leadership award

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Sumner wins first leadership award

By From staff reports
Published in News on October 13, 2010 1:46 PM

The 3 C's of Leadership were the topic of the keynote address by William "Bill" Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy at the first annual Leadership Conference, where the first annual Leadership Award also was given out.

The conference, held Oct. 7, was hosted by the Leadership Wayne County Alumni Association and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.

"To me, leadership is a daily practice, not a job description. Much of it comes down to what you can achieve through behavior and interpersonal influence, not direct command-and-control authority," Johnson said.

But that, he continued is the problem -- that "one reason we trip up as leaders is that it's game day every day."

"In contrast to athletes who practice many more hours than they play in games that count, business leaders -- leaders of all kinds -- do just the opposite. We have very little time to train and practice in situations with no consequences," he said.

And that, he explained, is where the stepping stones of leadership -- the 3 C's, credibility, connection and conviction -- come in, reminding attendees to "never overestimate how well you know what your employees are thinking and feeling, and never underestimate the power of your personal example."

"As a leader, we make big decisions that affect the future of our organization and the people who work there," he said. "But it's often the small gestures and the pattern of daily behaviors that unleash discretionary effort -- and that create the performance edge we need and the workplace culture we want."

The conference concluded with the presentation of the first annual Leadership Award. This award was created by the Leadership Wayne County Alumni Association to honor an individual for their dedication and commitment to change the community for the better.

Rick Sumner of Wooten Development Corp. was presented the first annual Leader of the Year Award by Mary Ann Dudley, of the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County.

"We are pleased to present Rick Sumner with the first Leadership Award," Leadership Wayne County Alumni Chairman Mark Best said. "Rick's vision for the Chamber of Commerce and Boys Club have made a dramatic impact on those organizations and in turn significantly improved the community. He is a true visionary, champion, collaborator, motivator which makes him a citizen that fully deserved such an award."