Leadership Libations

September 15, 2009

Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati

Filed under: Uncategorized — robjelinek @ 8:56 am

I had the good fortune to attend the Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati inaugural meeting this morning. AND I say good fortune even though I was up until 1am watching Monday Night Football Week 1 and had to pick up bagels and coffee at 615!!!!

And what an event it was! Meeting at Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, there were well over 60 attendee’s at today’s event! And what a great crowd it was with a diverse cross section of leaders from Greater Cincinnati. Throw on top of that the meeting got rolling at 7:30 and there was less than 30 days from announcement to event!

A little bit about the Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati group for those who aren’t aware of the group. The group was formed on Linkedin on July 27th, 50 short days ago. In that time, 160 Linkedin members have joined the group – that at time was a concept without definition, vision, or even direction. In those mere 50 days, the group has been formed, created a passionate board, a vision (after much much discussion – Trust me!), and held a meeting with well over 60 attendees! Not too bad if you ask me! To say there is passion and energy about this topic would be the understatement of the year!

So, what is Authentic Leadership? The Board for the Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati has defined it as:

Authentic Leadership is driven by a motivation to positively impact people and results. It requires transparency, intentional actions and the building of effective relationships in order to help others reach their greatest potential.

The group has defined their purpose: To Develop, Support, Encourage, and Promote Authentic Leadership.

IMG00073The meat of today’s meeting involved a round-table of three Cincinnati business leaders:

John Baumann, President & CEO of AMPAC
Ray Attiyah, Founder and CIO of Definity Partners
Tom Sutton, Owner /Operator of Chick-fil-A

They were discussing their leadership inspiration and how their personal compass leads their leadership style and their organizations. The format involved some predefined questions, but included ample Q&A time with the attendee’s. The setting allowed to see these leaders up close and in a very personal settings as they shared thoughts around leadership, their leadership style, their personal development, and what has helped form them.

A couple of the great messages I took away from the event:

On Leadership during these economic times:
“During these tough economic times, this is where leaders shine! Be relevant, be bold, and take action” – Ray Attiyah
“Being a partner in good times is easy, being a partner in a crisis is critical. This is when leaders show up” – John Baumann
“We are refusing to participate in the recession. We control our destiny. Now is the time to get engaged and give” – Tom Sutton

Where are you finding your hope from during these times:
“Past successes. Our group went thru 9/11, what did we do then. Go back to prior successes” – Ray A
“I get a lot of inspiration from reading great books about great people. I can follow the guy who went before me and were successful.” Tom S
“I cannot imagine anything other than hope. I’m not willing to make that the mindset of my organization.” John B

What do you wish you had done better or differently:
“I would be more attentive and listen closer to my authorities. Whether it is god-given authority in my parents, or listening to the Cathy family. My leadership is driven from being a better follower.” Tom S
“RELAX! Relax and have more fun. A lot of my day is to work myself out of a job. The more confidence I show in them, the more they enjoy their job.” John B
“Not try to do everything. Would have learned to set a few priorities, make them bold, and do them with excellence.” Ray A

How do you handle negativity/negative people:
“We have a no gossip policy, that is grounds for termination and in our policy manual. If you don’t have something nice/good to say, don’t say it. Tom S
“We don’t change people, we provide environments for people to change.” John B
“There is often a difference between negative people’s performance and what they say.” Ray A

In all, a fantastic first event. Great Q&A, Great panel willing to share their insights, Great opportunity to network with Authentic Leaders in Cincinnati! If you were there, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, if you missed it, I hope this gave you some flavor of the event and perhaps energized you to attend future events.

The Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati group plans to hold these events quarterly. If you are interested in hearing more, you can contact me, or join the group on Linkedin – Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati.

Special acknowledgement to the visionary behind this group and the Founder Erin Schreyer and the other board members I have the good fortune to serve with – Michelle Beckham-Corbin, Kip Backscheider, Mike Weppler, Craig Schweiger, Elaine Suess, Drew Forte and Terry Johnson.



  1. Thank you for showing just how true this Margaret Mead quote is: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

    Comment by Amy Bryant — September 15, 2009 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  2. Rob,

    Excellent post! Today’s event was a wonderful testimony to the idea that people in this city are thirsting for ways to participate fully in Authentic Leadership. We had a great crowd of individuals with quite diverse backgrounds and a panel of exceptional speakers.

    It is a privilege for me to be serving on the Advisory Board with you and the other group members. I think as a community, the Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati group is poised to make a huge difference in Cincinnati.

    Carpe Diem!

    Michelle Beckham-Corbin
    C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC

    Comment by Michelle Beckham — September 15, 2009 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  3. Way to go! Thanks for the encouraging post and the difference your group is making. It’s exciting to see people connecting for the purpose of making a positive difference.

    Comment by Mike Henry — September 15, 2009 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  4. I found your report on this inspirational. We need to learn and grow from others. Thank you, Rob, and others!

    Comment by Daniel Johnson, Jr. — September 15, 2009 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you to the organizational team for your vision and motivation to form the Cincy Authentic Leadership Group and to move forward with the first event.

    As I sat in the audience this week at the inaugural session, I thought to myself how much magnetic potential there was in that Crossroads room, to individually — and then collectively — make a positive impact in each of our worlds — and then in our own community together.

    Thanks again for your leadership to make this group and this event happen.
    Joanne Maly

    p.s. The forum speakers were excellent.

    Comment by Joanne Maly — September 18, 2009 @ 8:22 am | Reply

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