Need a leadership book recommendation?

by Rachel Douglass
Director of Engagement

Joe Tortorice, Jr (pictured center) visited with Vanessa Barnard and 2017 Chamber Chairman Scott Schwindaman shortly before his September 28 speech. Tortorice and Barnard are both with Jason’s Deli.

Joe Tortorice, Jr., founder of Jason’s Deli, opened his September 28 Chamber Sunrise Scrambler presentation with his reason for keeping a daily gratitude journal – simply put, “because grateful people cannot be unhappy.” That uplifting and motivating tone permeated his entire speech.

According to Tortorice, the key to your business is the people behind it. While addressing a nearly 240-person crowd, Tortorice emphasized servant leadership by encouraging attendees to remember that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Attendees left the event inspired to focus on purposefully serving others with the simple reminder that investing in relationships will be fruitful for years to come.

A humbling inspiration to those he addressed, Tortorice gave a nod to the motivational authors he admires and even shared his recommended reading list:

Shackleton’s Way by Margot Morrell & Stephanie Caprell
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
The Paradox of Power by Pat Williams
Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Servant by James Hunter
Why We Do What We Do by Edward Deci
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson
Living a Life that Matters by Harold Kushner
The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf
Good to Great by Jim Collins
A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle by James C. Hunter

A special thank you to Joe Tortorice for sharing his time and insights with us and to our sponsors who helped make this event possible:

Presenting Sponsor: Emprise Bank
Host Sponsor: Hyatt Regency of Wichita
Showcase Biz Sponsor: Davis-Moore Auto Group

Follow this link to a Carrie Rengers interview with Tortorice about his thoughts on life and leadership that ran in the Wichita Eagle on September 27.

Join us for our next Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, October 18 and plan to attend the November 15 Scrambler when we’ll hear from Dr. Alicia Thompson, Superintendent of Schools for USD 259.

CliffsNotes on Clifton: Part Two

Best Take-Aways from “The Coming Jobs War” – Part Two

Every strategy about everything Wichita does has to relate to small-business creation and acceleration.

As promised, here are some of the best take-aways from chapters seven through twelve of Clifton’s book, to familiarize you with some of his ideas prior to hearing him speak on November 5, at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting.

Chapter Seven – Entrepreneurship vs. Innovation
The precious connector between innovator and customer is the almighty entrepreneur:  the person who envisions a value and a customer and then creates a business model and strategy that create sales and profit.

Chapter Eight – High-Energy Workplaces
Going from 30 million engaged workers to 60 million engaged workers would change the face of America more than any leadership institution, trillions of stimulus dollars, or any law or policy imaginable.

Chapter Nine – Customer  Science
Talent and relationships can almost always beat low price – they inspire customer engagement.

Chapter Ten – K-12 Schools – Where Entrepreneurs are Created
Student graduation is one of the most definitive predictors of your city’s future innovation, entrepreneurship, and subsequent job and GDP growth.

Chapter Eleven – Fix Healthcare or Destroy Job Creation
There is no single act of leadership that has bigger money implications than simply doubling the number of fit Americans.

Chapter Twelve – Global Wellbeing
America can’t lead the world economy without a disproportionate market share of the most talented people in the world. The next big economic city empires will rise up where the most talented entrepreneurs migrate and stay.

Conclusion
The next biggest job source is the approximately 5% of existing small companies that shoot up to big success. Cities have to create environments where this is highly encouraged, supported, mentored and celebrated. Every strategy about everything has to relate to small-business creation and acceleration.

Gary Plummer
President & CEO
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

CliffsNotes on Clifton: Part One

Best Take-Aways from “The Coming Jobs War” – Part One

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, the Chamber has distributed over 300 copies of Gallup CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton’s book, The Coming Jobs War, to area leaders.

The 225-page book is a quick read that offers some interesting ideas for advancing job creation efforts.

I’ve summarized one of the best take-aways from the first six chapters below for those of you who won’t have time to finish the book before hearing Mr. Clifton speak at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 5.

Introduction
The highest levels of leadership require mastery of a new task:  job creation.

Chapter One – What 7 Billion People Want
Leaders of countries and cities must make creating good jobs their No. 1 mission and primary purpose because good jobs are becoming the new currency for all world leaders.

Chapter Two – Joblessness
Businesses with 500 or fewer employees represent more than 99% of the 6 million businesses in the U.S. with at least one employee.

Chapter Three – China’s Surge
When China’s GDP surpasses America’s, it will dominate the world economically by a margin far more than the United States currently has.

Chapter Four – Unless
If World War II saved the republic and democracy, the unforeseen technology-entrepreneurial boom that lasted from 1970 to 2000 re-saved the United States economically.

Chapter Five – Classical Economics vs. Behavioral Economics
Almost all new jobs are created by start-ups and small and medium-sized companies. Gigantic companies tend to decrease jobs. Mergers and acquisitions destroy more jobs than they create.

Chapter Six – Cities
Cities that create a culture that responds to innovation become a beacon for the most talented people in the world. You have to jumpstart your city yourself.

I’ll post some of the best take-aways from chapters seven through twelve tomorrow.

Gary Plummer
President & CEO
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Coming Jobs War – Book Review

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book-cover-jobs-war
Jim Clifton’s book, The Coming Jobs War, initially came to my attention when some of my Chamber colleagues around the country started discussing his research and approach to job creation. His message was resonating with communities that understood that winning the jobs war meant more than merely maintaining the economic development status quo.

Chapter Six appears about a third of the way through the book and it made the greatest impression on me when I had a chance to read through my copy of the book. The chapter stressed that the next economic development breakthrough will be “from the combination of the forces within big cities, great universities, and powerful local leaders.”

Wichita has all the right components for winning the job war. We have a unique entrepreneurial spirit. And we have dedicated visionaries who lead our local government, universities, companies, and non-profit organizations. After discussing the merits of Clifton’s book, our Chamber Board of Directors felt that his emphasis on local solutions and fostering entrepreneurship was the right fit for advancing our community.

The Chamber distributed more than 300 copies of the book to the media, elected officials, and local leaders during the 20012-13 Business at Full Throttle campaign to increase our economic development funding. Many of those who read the book were inspired to become investors and we were able to exceed our original goal and raise over $9 million.

Clifton advises that “your whole city wage a war for jobs. Everybody in charge of everything needs to focus on job creation.” Hearing Mr. Clifton to speak at our Annual Meeting on November 5, will  continue the momentum of our Business at Full Throttle campaign and help align our efforts citywide.

I hope that you’ll take the time to read Mr. Clifton’s book and join us to hear him speak about ways we can advance our community.  Follow this link for event and ticket information.

Gary Plummer
President & CEO
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce