What is Leadership?

Because we hear the term “leadership” so often, we wanted to highlight the leadership within the Lehman-Roberts Co. and Memphis Stone & Gravel Co. culture. We have leaders for our crews and teams, leaders in safety, leaders in TPR and even leaders among us all. But, how do we define leadership? When I went to the internet for a definition, the top entry on the list said, “Leadership can be hard to define and it means different things to different people.” Clearly.

Our executive leadership team was asked for their definitions and their answers follow below.

“I really like seeing our foremen doing one-on-one teaching, coaching, and training with their crew members. It is a healthy way to build trust and communicate expectations. As a result, these crews tend to have the highest performance in safety, production and TPR.” – Allen Halliday, Chief Administrative Officer

“I am adamant about being proactive and intentional in listening to our employees. Everyone wants to be heard. If our employees feel listened to and valued, that will translate into our customers feeling the same. I’ve always heard and believed that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of the customers.” – Jobe Madison, VP / Project Manager

“By personally setting a positive example every day, everyone in the company is capable of being a great leader.” – John Paul Finerson, VP / Northern Operations Manager

“Important qualities that make leaders effective within our companies are to genuinely care for your people, lead by example, and be willing to share your knowledge and experience with others.” – Michael Ellis, Southern Operations Manager

“Leadership is an absolute necessity to success. It is also one of those things that is very hard to define, but you know it when you see it. It is my strong opinion that good leadership in its simplest form boils down to two things. 1) Influence.  How good a leader is boils down to how much influence they have. The ability to influence can come from position, but that is the weakest form of influence. The most influential leaders have built influence through hard work, competence, vision, and trust. 2)  A second critical component to great leadership is a servant’s heart. Leaders are servants, it is that simple. If you are not willing to serve others, being a great leader just can’t happen.” – Pat Nelson, President – Lehman-Roberts Co.

“Effective Leadership within the LRC / MSG culture is having the ability to give a clear vision on where we want to go and how we go about getting there as an organization.” – Richard Moore, Asst. Project Manager

“Once in a while, someone comes along like Pat Summit, who will be remembered as a coach and a leader. She won more games in college basketball history than anyone, man or woman, including eight national championships, and never had a losing season in 38 seasons.  Even when she was diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer’s in 2011, she stared it down and continued to coach.  She brought women’s sports to a new high.

Pat Summit always demanded excellence, discipline and loyalty.  She taught her team to never forget where they came from or where they wanted to go.  To me, she was a coach and leader to remember and learn from.   I always say, the best coaches are the ones who get respect from their team and get their team involved in winning the game, one game at a time.” – Eddie Ragsdale, Operations Manager – Memphis Stone & Gravel Co.

“Leadership is something we all have the potential to possess, if we choose to possess it.  Leaders have many traits:  they are honest, positive individuals who inspire others to be better people.  These leaders are confident and decisive and communicate information for the improvement of the whole team. These characteristics can be seen in families, church, organized sports and work, just to list a few.”  – Hal Williford, President – Memphis Stone & Gravel Co.

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