The President & CEO role of many organizations must look at the “big picture,” or serve as the visionary leader. Part of that is focusing on the culture of the organization, establishing and maintaining relationship with stakeholders, putting into place a strong team, and moving forward the big rocks that help distinguish an organization.
Over the years, I have grown into this role, and I do my best to equip our team to do the work and provide the services that truly makes our organization special.
For those of you who know me, you know that I believe attention to detail is one way to showcase excellence. This is a part of my personality that creates tremendous joy and is also a source of self-induced frustration.
I am the person who walks into the office and rearranges the magazine rack, even if it is only slightly out of place. Typos seem to jump out at me within moments of looking at a publication. I see weeds on the sidewalk and move chairs to their appropriate location when out of place.
I am self-aware enough to know that many of these things are not a huge detail in the grand scheme of things, but in my heart, I know that the details are where the care, passion, and joy of a person’s work shines through. I point them out to our staff. I don’t make them into a big deal (because I often know that they are not), but I still firmly believe that they matter.
I drove through Campustown the other day and the beauty of the medians brought me great joy. In May 2021, our organization, along with The Ames Foundation, Kingland Systems Corporation, and the Campustown organization at the time, invested time and money into the updated landscape. We didn’t need to, but in my opinion, that corridor matters to our community. Today, they continue to serve as a great entrance to the thousands of students and families that visit Iowa State University, and our community, every year.
Additionally, if you have walked through Downtown Ames, I hope you noticed the new flower beds along Main Street, as they provide an aesthetic that truly makes a difference. The beauty and attention to detail demonstrates pride in our community and I’m glad our organization continues to play a role in that.
If you are a leader for your organization, I encourage you to emphasize the details. Pay attention to them and recognize when your team cares enough to attend to them. The beauty of our community is all around us and it can often be seen in the details. You just have to look.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.