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Leadership at an Employee-Owned Company

Leadership takes on many shapes and forms. We see leadership examples all around us in our daily lives. Mothers leading children, coaches leading players, and managers leading staff are all illustrations of leadership that influence us as we go through life. Leadership styles can vary greatly and leaders are influenced by their environment. This is especially true in the business world and is at the heart of every corporate culture.

After 10 years of employment, I have grown to love our corporate culture at Wright Service Corp. (WSC). Our culture is largely the result of being a family-focused employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company. The culture is visible within the leadership styles of supervisors, managers and executive leadership. As an employee owner, I believe that we are all leaders in one way or another.

Every person in every level of our organization can be a leader in ways that can have a significant impact on our business, and in turn have an impact on their own retirement. Being a leader can be as simple as setting a good example for others, making the right decision, or putting safety first over taking a shortcut to get home a few minutes early. Working with integrity and being our brother’s and sister’s keepers are some things we do as a part of our culture of an employee owned company. These are just a few examples of how we are inherently leaders among our peers, our staff and our industry. Company leadership takes pride in what we do knowing that you are helping provide for our own future. As our family of companies continues to grow, it will be as critical to train and lead the next generation of employee owners to care for this company as it was for those of us who came before them.

Those closest to me know that I spend an unhealthy amount of time in the winter watching college basketball. One of my favorite things to do is to drive an hour north to watch my alma mater play and see the culture our coach has worked so hard to put together. I have heard about him telling his players to “leave their jersey in a better place” when they graduate from school. So the next time you are on your way to work, ask yourself, “What can you do to lead those around you? How can you leave your jersey in a better place?”


By Jon Hicks, Vice President and Controller

This article was published in “Executive Excerpts,” a section of the Wright Service Corp. biannual newsletter, The Wright Perspective