Leadership Lessons from Salvatore Giunta

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore “Sal” Giunta was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2010.

On Thursday, November 29, the community will have an opportunity to hear from former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta when he’s the featured speaker at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting. Giunta is the first living person to receive the Medal of Honor since the conclusion of the Vietnam War. His memoir, titled Living With Honor, covers his journey from being a teenage “sandwich artist at Subway” to his heroic actions during combat in Afghanistan in October 2007 that earned him the U.S. military’s highest honor in 2010.

Most of us won’t ever be tested like Giunta or his fellow soldiers, but his story offers a number of life and leadership lessons that we can incorporate in our daily lives. He shares some of them in his book.

  • Training is essential. You need the right tools and the confidence to use them.
  • Teamwork and communication are vital. Your success depends on everyone understanding their role and embracing the mission.
  • Leadership is critical. You’ll move mountains for leaders you respect.
  • Heroes are all around us. Every courageous deed isn’t documented, captured on film or publicly celebrated. There are lots of quiet heroes among us that we can and should recognize for their sacrifices and heroism.

Living With Honor is a memoir by Salvatore A. Giunta.

Giunta is a true U.S. patriot, but his book doesn’t sugarcoat the hardships and heartbreak that soldiers endure during wartime. His humility is endearing and his endurance is inspiring.

We hope that you’ll join us on November 29 to thank him for his heroic actions and learn more about his determination to serve his country and his fellow soldiers. Please plan to bring members of your team, your clients and other business associates who will benefit from his leadership lessons.

Our thanks to our many sponsors who have made it possible to bring Giunta to Wichita.
Presenting Sponsor:  INTRUST Bank
Premier Sponsors:  Cox Business, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. and Westar Energy
Platinum Sponsors:  Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Black Hills Energy, Cargill Protein Group, Grant Thornton LLP, High Touch Technologies, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Meritrust Credit Union, RCB Bank, and Berry Companies
Print Sponsor:  Envision, Inc.
Gold Sponsors:  GLMV Architecture, Inc., Hutton, Lubrication Engineers, Inc., Occidental Management, Inc., and Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A.
Chairman’s Circle:  Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., Koch Industries, Inc., and Cox
Presidential Partners:  Textron Aviation, Inc., INTRUST Bank, and Fidelity Bank

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.

Are you the Top Dog?

Photo Jun 17, 7 47 39 AM (1)

Speaker Maurice Evans reminded Chamber members that leadership is highly relational.

You don’t have to be appointed the top dog in your organization to lead the pack. People will follow you and embrace your ideas if you are adding value to their lives and their work. Real leadership is the result of influence rather than position.

Maurice Evans of iGROWyourBiz, Inc. reminded 115 Chamber members at this week’s Sunrise Scrambler that influence is an essential leadership skill. Evans says developing and maintaining influence requires a commitment to making good things happen for others. You need to identify and seek moments each day where you can make a difference and perform value-added acts for those around you.

Your influence will grow with the value you add. But you’ll also need to embrace accountability and integrity. Real influence is the result of living what you believe. Borrowed beliefs have no power and influence can’t be bought.

You can view the slides from Maurice’s presentation here.

Our thanks to Maurice for sharing his presentation and to this month’s sponsors:  Legacy Bank, Eberly Farm and Davis-Moore. Check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for photos, video and more information from the program.

Register for next month’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, July 15,  when Dr. Atha McNay discusses The Power of Potential & Growth.

Now accepting nominations for the 2015 Leadership Wichita class

Leadership is a word that we hear a lot these days. But what does it really mean and how do we develop it? It takes leaders with significant skills working together to address the issues facing our community. And for more than 30 years, the Chamber’s Leadership Wichita program has been working to identify, cultivate and inspire those emerging leaders.

Members of the 2014 class participate in team building exercises.

Members of the 2014 class participate in team building exercises.

We are now accepting nominations for our 2015 Leadership Wichita class. The program’s eight sessions cover topics ranging from education and workforce development, working with the media and economic development. In addition, skills such as collaboration, consensus building, and visioning will be explored through real-life examples and group exercises. See the full list of topics in 2015 program brochure.

If you know someone who has a background of active community involvement and would be a good candidate for this year’s Leadership Wichita class, please nominate them at wichitachamber.org/Leadership.

Important Dates:Leadership Wichita-image only

  • Nominations due – June 19
  • Applications due – July 1
  • Selection announced – July 31
  • First session – September 3

Learn more at wichitachamber.org, and see conversation on Twitter from previous Leadership Wichita classes using #LeadICT.

Leadership quotes that motivate WSU Shockers

Holly Landon and Sheryl Wohlford greeted Sunrise Scrambler presenter Steve Dickie.

Holly Landon of the Chamber and Sheryl Wohlford of Automation Plus greeted Sunrise Scrambler presenter Steve Dickie before this month’s event.

The members of Wichita State University’s (WSU) men’s basketball team have gained national attention for their leadership both on and off the court during Coach Gregg Marshall’s tenure.

Yesterday’s blog recapped the five character-building pillars that Steve Dickie, Character Coach for WSU’s Shockers, shared with Chamber members during this week’s Sunrise Scrambler. Today we’ve posted more motivational thoughts from  Dickie’s presentation. We’re confident that you’ll find a few to inspire you.

  • You were born to fly. Don’t settle for less.
  • Character is what sustains us. Like an iceberg, the 10% at the top is our leadership ability. Character makes up the 90% below the water line. It’s who we are.
  • The critical area of character development is self-management. You must invest in your character so you can become a better leader among your family, friends, and colleagues.
  • “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are.” A quote from legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
  • “Fame is vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.” A quote from American newspaper editor Horace Greeley.
  • “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” A quote attributed to both James Anthony Froude and Henry D. Thoreau.

Our thanks to our November Sunrise Scrambler sponsors:
–Presenting Sponsor, Legacy Bank
–Host and Breakfast Sponsor, Petroleum Club of Wichita
–Showcase Sponsor – Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc.

See photos of the November Sunrise Scrambler on the Chamber’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Follow the conversation about Steve’s presentation at #ictchamber and @ventureboldly. Follow Steve @sdickie56.

Be sure to register for next month’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, December 17, by following this link. December’s speaker is Wichitan Jared Estes, who will share his story of triumph over tragedy and how he learned to FIRE BACK.

Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

Steve Dickie is the Character Coach for Wichita State University's Men's Basketball Team

Steve Dickie is the Character Coach for Wichita State University’s men’s basketball team.

Every Wichita State University (WSU) men’s basketball player knows how to finish the rhyme that serves as the headline for today’s blog post. It’s the Shocker mantra:

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest.
Let your good be better and your better best.”

Steve Dickie, Character Coach for WSU’s men’s basketball team, attributes the Shockers’ success to Coach Gregg Marshall’s emphasis on developing leadership and character in each of his players. Dickie shared his presentation on the value of both of these attributes with Chamber members at this morning’s Sunrise Scrambler. Here is a recap of how he motivates athletes to improve their personal and professional lives by continually improving their character.

You’re going to have to dig deep to get through life’s rough spots. Preparing in advance for these curves in the road helps you develop the stamina you’ll need to get through them.

True service to each other and to your community raises your own value and can actually be fun. Embody servant leadership and seek to serve those who aren’t typically  recognized for their efforts.

Thankfulness is contagious and shapes your perception of situations and the people around you. You’ll always find what you are looking for, so use your selective perception to find and focus on the positive.

Celebrate the gifts you see in each other and all the victories in each day. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a catchy victory tune to celebrate with…Ay-Oh here we go! (Click here for a video clip of Steve leading the Shockers’ locker-room victory chant at today’s event.)

Ask yourself these three questions:
– What do I need most?
– What is standing in my way?
– What do I eliminate to get there?
Then sum it all up in one word that you can visualize when you’re feeling extreme pressure. Sample words from some of your favorite Shocker players: Perspective (Fred Van Vleet), Benefit (Ron Baker), Humble (Tekele Cotton), and Love (Cleanthony Early).

Steve had more words of wisdom to share with the group and we’ll post some of his favorite leadership quotes tomorrow. See photos of today’s events on the Chamber’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Follow the conversation about Steve’s presentation at #ictchamber and @ventureboldly. Follow Steve @sdickie56. You can read more about Steve Dickie’s work with the Shockers in this Kansas Leadership Center profile and this Wichita Eagle story.