What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career? For Roy Benin, president for category strategy and innovation at Weston Foods, that came 15 years ago when he realized that the role of a leader is to build more leaders.
“You want to be remembered by the number of leaders that you have influenced and the amount of leaders that you have grown,” Mr. Benin noted during the American Bakers Association’s NextGenBaker Global Leadership Forum, held during the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas in September. “We’re in the talent business, but we just happen to be in bakery.”
Carrie Jones-Barber, chief executive officer of Dawn Foods, cited the value of diversity of thought.
“Being able to surround yourself with those that think differently gives you a creative ability to answer questions in a completely different way,” she said. “It gives you the best answers and the best solutions at the end of the day.”
Moreover, Ms. Jones-Barber offered some personal advice for rising leaders.
“If you find your passion, that’s what you apply to for the rest of your life because you will be happy and you will be successful,” she explained.
On the flipside, Mr. Benin provided a sage observation for industry veterans.
“It’s about learning agility,” he pointed out. “The world is changing so fast that we have to adapt. Our ability to have learning agility today is absolutely critical. As you get more senior in your career, you have to worry about not being adaptable. I’m always thinking about that.”
In the end, it’s about having the right values, attitude and people.
“We talk about being an optimistic company filled with optimistic people,” Ms. Jones-Barber said. “We talk about integrity. Integrity has always been a part of who we are.”
Agility, optimism, passion, progress, relationships and integrity — what a powerful combination for success.