Friday, February 23, 2018

Cianbro Guided by Dr. George Manning


At the heart of every leader is a story. Pete Vigue, President and CEO of the Cianbro Companies, knows this well.

One by one team members, from Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, Maine, and throughout the northeast, arrive at the historic East and Park hotel in Portland, Maine. It is the night before class. Team members will now become students as they begin an intensive three month journey into the 'study and practice of leadership.  Some of the lessons will be subtle and personal. Some of the lessons will unfold in teams. And, some of the lessons will surface through the skill of our guest educator, George Manning.

After checking into the Eastland, students head for an informal gathering in the lobby. This first meeting is a time to build new relationships while getting acquainted with fellow students and fac­ulty. Informally, through this first gathering, students begin practicing their first leadership lesson: the value of building relationships.

Each class day begins early for our student leaders. Alan Burton, Vice President of Human Resources, Safety and Health, sets the expectations and standards for the course. He says, "Our mission is to develop leaders who value people. We are committed to educating our leaders for the long term benefit of our company." Team members are reminded that their good job performance was the reason they were invited to attend the Cianbro Leadership Initiative.

At the heart of every leader is a story. And, for some leaders their story carries them through a life changing experience. Pete Vigue, Chairman, President and CEO of the Cianbro Companies, knows this well. Delivering the keynote address, Pete takes the opportunity to greet each student personally before he moves into sharing his story. The mood of the room gradually changes from the high energy of human connections to the quiet wisdom of personal reflection. Pete tells the story of a journey that took him and others through an internal struggle which ultimately lead Cianbro to embrace a new piece of equipment and a new safety policy. Speaking to the value of people, he includes a pearl of wisdom about relationships, "It isn't what you say, it's how you make them feel, that's what they will remember." Pete acknowledged how these people and moments in time made a difference in his life; teaching him what it takes to be a true leader. Informally, through this personal story, students learn another leadership lesson: the value of ethics; the intent, means, and consequences of moral behavior.

With a lively pace, quick wit, and a twinkle in his eye, George Manning, Professor of Psychology and Business at Northern Kentucky University, begins his teaching magic. George brings a unique approach and magic for connecting with people through humor, interesting facts, and practical applications. He takes the students on a journey exploring the qualities of leadership. They discover that integrity is the most valued quality. They experience the story of one young man who took a customer service lesson he learned in a class and applied it so the whole business benefited. They look at historic case studies which confirm the power of vision that leads individuals and civilizations to extraordinary accomplishments. Integrating theory and application, George guides students through the complex topics of leadership.


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