Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Walking with Elephants

Drayton McLane, Jr., chair and CEO of the McLane companies, former vice-chair of Walmart and CEO of the Houston Astros, was a hit last recently at our company wide meeting.

 I've been reviewing my notes from the meeting and thought it would be good to regularly revisit his key points.
  • Focus on your values regularly. McLane and his team conducted small group meetings across his company (12,000 employees) every two weeks to focus on what it means to operate with integrity, respect and Christian values.
  • We have freedom and free-enterprise in America, this gives us a chance that most don't get to achieve our dreams.
  • The most difficult thing - change, because we are creatures of habit. The most dangerous time in our personal lives is when we are succeeding because we begin to believe our own stuff.
  • We must keep taking risks; making mistakes is what entrepreneurship is about.
  • You can never become what you want to be by remaining as you are.
  • Don't underestimate the power of technology and social media, use the unfriendliness of technology and make it human. 
From his MSU business school professor in 1959:

 1. Dare to dream - it's free

 2. Operate out of your imagination not your memories; memories have too many errors

 3. Seek adversity, the lines are shorter

 4. Walk with elephants (leaders)

  What an honor to have had the opportunity to walk with this elephant for an afternoon.