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Leadership Kenosha — February 2024


My fellow Leadership Kenosha colleagues met this month at Uline's corporate headquarters. This family-owned business is the leading distributor of shipping, industrial, and packaging materials to businesses throughout North America. Here I saw and heard multiple different things about leadership that made me think more about the type of leader I am and want to be.

Leadership comes in many different forms. Some people lead people by holding their colleagues accountable for every action they take, knowing that in the process, they see the same leader getting their hands dirty in the weeds with their colleagues. Leaders sometimes have a determination that no matter the possible outcomes and problems that may come up, we will do things together and deliver on promised results. Then, some people have the mentality that no one will outwork them. Looking at your schedule, you have the ability to see how maybe you get that one or two possible extra hours in your day to finish that task at a faster rate than expected, allowing you to deliver on promised results, resolve conflicts quickly, and put value in people that you may not have seen before. At the same time, maintaining a life balance for you to enjoy.

Seeing the process and different leadership styles allows people to form their path and style that can create a team that allows you to have the six ways of leading by example.

  1. Listening to the team
  2. Respecting the chain of command
  3. Getting your hands dirty
  4. Delivering on promised results
  5. Resolving conflict quickly
  6. Valuing people

Then, I heard a quote that made me think more and more about the importance of leadership. It also made me think, what if you do not know everything and are expected to know everything?

Mark Fedyk, President and Chief Operating Officer of Jockey International Inc., said, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." That was said by New York bestselling author, coach, and speaker John C. Maxwell. Mr. Fedyk said this on a panel discussion of other business, economic, and political members of Kenosha County.

Those people were:

  • Laura Thelen - Director of Finance at Uline
  • Nicole Ryf - President of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance
  • Heather Lux - Regional Director of the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation
  • Samantha Kerkman - County Executive of Kenosha
  • Mark Fedyk - President and COO of Jockey International
  • Dave Strash - President and CEO of Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce

There have been times in my life where, as the leader, I knew the way, but I could not go or show the way to my colleagues. Then, there were times that I was offered the way but wanted to avoid going that way because I believed it was not the right way. As I was thinking, I returned to number six in leadership by example: Value people. Leaders should only know some things about some things. You bring in the smartest people to help you collaborate and answer questions you might not know. This allows you to grow as a leader and your colleagues to grow more in a role they may never have thought they could have done before.

— Chris Szolyga, Carthage College

Posted on

February 21, 2024


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