Thanks go to the RILA staff and the asset protection leadership committee for staging a superb conference in Dallas. Those of us with the magazine thoroughly enjoyed the show, the speakers, and the networking. But the conference had a rocky start as April showers turned to stormy weather that caused airplane delays and cancellations for a large number of attendees trying to get in on Sunday.
David Lund of DICKS Sporting Goods had one of the most challenging situations. He was stranded in Charlotte Sunday afternoon and scheduled to give the keynote opening presentation Monday at 8:00 a.m. So David made an executive decision to drive the 1,025 miles, which he and two of his team did in about fifteen hours overnight. David told the audience bright and early Monday that a great snack at Krystal Burgers along the way put him in the mood to address RILAs largest attended conference in its history. David was on fire, partially fueled by caffeine I suspect, as he spoke with passion, enthusiasm, and love for the loss prevention profession. He indeed has a seat at the table with DICKS. Thank you, David, for a great opening speech.
I had a second occasion recently to observe another exceptional leader in action. I was invited to attend the Macys supply-chain asset protection internal team meeting. Those of you with a little grey in your hair or just little hair can remember when distribution security was a stepchild in retail. The stores got all the attention, the best people, and the most money to spend. Thats no longer true as several retailers have made a real commitment and upgraded their LP logistics programs; none more than Macys. Maurizio Scrofani, vice president of AP supply chain, and his leadership team have a program that leverages technology, analytics, passion, and cross-functional inclusion. Best I have seen.
Lund and Scrofani represent two types of leadership styles that lead to excellence. Lund is the passionate leader. He gets excited about what he is doing. He is invested in the journey as well as the goal. For him it is not tiring (fifteen hours of driving), and the pursuit of the goal is fun and intriguing. Passionate leaders are contagious.
Scrofani is more the visionary leader. He gets what he wants because he knows what he wants. These visionary leaders see it, feel it, and experience it in their minds and hearts. They envision what they want and where they are going so clearly that they can project themselves forward to that moment of victory and describe it to you as though it were happening right then. They have a vision that becomes their compass. It keeps them motivated and efficiently on track, which is exactly what I observed with Maurizio and his team.
We are blessed that we have such leaders and many others like them. But we should not forget the people down a rung or two in the districts, the distribution centers, and the stores who are the implementers and executors of the programs. They are where the rubber meets the road and deserve a lot of credit.
To shift gears a bit, I really wanted to spend some time writing about fairness in life and the LP world. Maybe next time. For now I will leave you with this bit of trivia. In the fifteenth year of the magazine, what was the featured interview in the very first issue? Heres a bonus question. What was RILA called before it was called RILA?
Happy Mothers Day, Happy Fathers Day, and please fly the flag on Memorial Day in remembrance of all those who have served.
Jim Lee, LPC