Release Date: April 10, 2011

Leaders need to "move the ball forward," says Boldt CEO

The Business News

It’s all about leadership—leadership that cares.

That was the message of Bob DeKoch, president and CEO of the Boldt Co., Appleton, at the CEO Breakfast and Strategy Series sponsored by St. Norbert College. Nearly 90 attended at the Riverview Country Club, Appleton.

Koch, also the author of two books on leadership, called leadership “a very personal thing” and advised that “it should be done with care.”

He said a good leader looks at an issue from all sides and listens to the points of view before making a decision.

DeKoch said that a leader tries to make a difference, and that should include respect, understanding, sensitivity and humility.

Noting that in negotiations, values are important to an organization, “and if you get that right, everything else will follow, he said. “It is essential that you live your values every day.”

DeKoch said the reality of leadership is how much we know, but also said a good leader draws from among people “who know something you do not know” and then draws on the even larger circle “of things we do not know.”

He also was concerned about people who suffer from uncertainty. “Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know,’” he said.

Good leadership means you have to be able to move the ball, DeKoch said and outlined a few strategies including:

  • Get people engaged, involve others, encourage dialogue and diverse thinking.
  • Seize the moment of acceleration, that’s when you move forward.
  • Invest in worthy employees through communication, vision and sincerity.

“With success there always are some failures,” DeKoch said, “but, learn from those failures and you will emerge with success.”

Finally, he said a good leader will create an environment for leadership. “We all have the responsibility to move the ball forward.”