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ALL Award Honoree discusses leadership style, confidence and how open communication impacts decision-making.

LentzDebbie_1465Debbie Lentz, Senior Vice President, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc., recipient of the 2015 AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award at the AWESOME Symposium on May 6, joined her co-recipient, Beth Ford, Executive Vice President, Chief Supply Chain and Operations Officer, Land O’Lakes, Inc., in a presentation regarding leadership in the supply chain industry. The presentation was moderated by Susan Purdum, Instructor, Supply Chain Management, Smeal College of Business and Faculty Affiliate, Penn State’s Center for Supply Chain Research.

Excerpts from Debbie Lentz’s participation at the AWESOME Symposium
On leadership style:

    “I would definitely say a leader’s style changes. As a company grows, it is increasingly necessary to motivate and inspire employees. It is crucial to listen, understand, support and assist in the development of the broader organizations throughout the company.”

About having confidence in yourself

    “Exude your essence. Each and every individual has a distinct style and personality that should be leveraged. The special talents one possesses should be used as a strength, and not viewed as something to shy away from.”

On situational leadership:

    “Sometimes being an effective leader requires learning how to adjust your own leadership style, rather than expecting others to adapt to it. For example, in a global leadership position, culture and customs impact how business is conducted. Therefore, you may find that people respond more positively to certain leadership tactics depending on the country you are operating in.”

On listening to the people around you:

    “A friend of mine says there’s a reason why we have two ears and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we speak. It’s important to listen to others and gain input from individuals on your team before acting. As a leader, you make decisions based on the feedback you receive from stakeholders, management, employees and customers.”

On why it’s great to be in supply chain now:

    “Supply chain is now more widely recognized among the business community. We must have the confidence to use our expertise to assist companies with decisions regarding supply chain.”
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