Kathy Mazzarella is the chairman, president and CEO of Graybar, a Fortune 500 company that specializes in supply chain management services and is a leading North American distributor of high-quality components, equipment and materials for a number of industries.
With $6 billion in revenue (2014), Graybar employs thousands of men and women at more than 260 North American distribution centers. Graybar is also one of North America’s largest employee-owned companies.
In this second of five episodes with Kathy we explore the second component of The Innovative Distributor™ – Culture. Kathy quickly explains the importance of culture and how it gives you the foundation upon which to make decisions and form opinions.
You’ll hear the passion that Kathy has for building an organization around the values and behaviors that allow for both short term and long term success. Kathy explains that it’s the leaders job to insure that the culture allows for performance today – that there is organizational trust in producing today, so that those responsible for creating the future have the ability to do so.
As Kathy describes, Graybar’s objective as an organization is to make sure that Graybar is around for another 100 plus years. In this inspirational discussion she describes the how leadership at Graybar is creating the culture to do just that. Create a relevant, sustainable, and profitable business for the next 100 years.
In this episode Kathy and I explore:
- How culture becomes the foundation upon which you make decisions and form opinions
- Using culture to define right and wrong in your business
- Why Kathy walked away from a million dollar customer as a young sales representative
- Core values and behaviors as the anchor of your culture
- Importance of empowering your customers and inventing the future together
- Why leaders must believe that long term success is much more important than short term gains
- The secret to focusing on the long term when everything is pointing to “Today, today, today.”
- Investing in the future
- Confronting the issues in conflict with the culture
- Being willing to lose your job because you’re making the hard decisions
- The unlimited potential human beings have to become better
- The importance of intentionality
- Why Kathy consistently recognizes those employees who model desired behaviors
- How Kathy uses the inspiration from employees to focus on giving her best
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