The Best Managers Lead by Example
I’ve realized that the best managers lead by example.
“I always wanted a mentor and was fortunate to develop such a relationship with our Enactus team’s Sam Walton Fellow, Dr. Michael Wiese,” says Stacey, who graduated from Anderson University in May 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and double minors in communications and global marketing. She served as president of Anderson University Enactus, and worked as Executive Director of Anderson Media Group, a student-run public relations and marketing company. “Dr. Wiese taught me that no matter what God-given talents you have, you can use them to serve others. We reviewed my college path and career plans, which helped me discover my confidence and prepare for my future. He saw in me the potential to become a leader. I learned how important it is to have a mentor, identify individuals within your field of interest, meet them, and maintain relationships. You need to take the time to learn how people launched their careers, how they became successful, and ask for tips and advice.
“Those experiences gave me the chance to develop skills that I rely on today. I was encouraged to take risks and try new things. I had the chance to manage a high-performing 80-member Enactus team, learn how to organize and run meetings, and to manage and coach others to prioritize and be proactive. My mentor taught me you can use whatever skills you possess to help others, and I discovered that firsthand during an Enactus project where we helped Mexican women start their own businesses. Providing a skill to someone was a big ‘aha’ for me. I found it exciting to put my thumbprint on a team and help them grow as individuals.”
Stacey first worked as an intern with The Hershey Company during the summer of 2007 and became a full-time sales rep with Hershey’s in May 2008, two days after graduating. She served as a retail sales representative for 18 months before receiving a promotion to District Sales Supervisor in the Memphis market. Today, Stacey recruits for Hershey’s at Enactus national career fairs and on college campuses.
“Hershey’s offers a formal mentoring program as well as unstructured opportunities to interact with and learn from other associates. I teamed up with a brand manager and we talked every month. It was a rewarding experience that gave me a chance to learn what is necessary to progress to the next level. I think the relationships I have built have smoothed my transitions, especially when I moved into a supervisory role. I reached out with questions about future roles and discussed the challenges and opportunities. Those are invaluable relationships that help me better understand the company and specific positions.
“I realized that the best managers lead by example and that’s how I have developed my personal philosophy. I bring my ‘A’ game to work every day and expect my employees to be fully engaged, motivated and to work as a team to build something special. I think the reason I’m a successful manager is that I don’t manage everyone the same way. I look for what makes each person tick, and I use a management style that is best suited to bring out the best in each person and help them reach their potentials.”
Life has changed dramatically for Stacey in the three short years since graduation, from launching a blossoming career to starting her married life in a new environment. Her secret to success? “Forward thinking,” Stacey recommends. “Instead of just living in the moment, commit your short- and long-term goals to paper and then follow through. Know your strengths. Stay organized, proactive and focused. You will quickly be on the path to lifelong success!”