Leading the Business with Insight in the Midst of a Pandemic: Third in the Three Heart Series

by peter bailey

These have been challenging times…2020 is over and done, and yet many of us are still trying to get wind in our sails for 2021. Either way, it has been a fascinating time to be a leader.

As we have continued our relationships with business leaders across all our client groups, a couple of strong messages have come forward:

  1. Take care of yourselves
  2. Take care of your people
  3. Take care of your business
  4. Repeat

There are countless ways we have seen people practicing the L3 model of “leading ourselves, leading others, and leading the business.” Here are but a few examples of leaders leading well—with a focus on diversity of thought and the culture of their leadership teams—and using Insights Discovery during challenging times.

Sondra Samuels, President and CEO of Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ)

Sondra has worked with her team on redesigning their Strategic Plan and is focusing on the culture of her leadership team, an amazing group of people doing fabulous and important work in our community.

“NAZ is a values-driven organization. We know that we cannot fulfill our mission or effectively produce transformative outcomes with families and children on the Northside unless we are true to our core. Our values shape our culture and impact how we work internally with each other while collaborating externally across 30 nonprofits and schools.

The Prouty Project’s Insights tool has allowed my leadership team to better understand our diverse leadership and work styles, allowing us to build on our strengths individually and as a team while also addressing the challenges our styles might present in any given situation. I think it builds on the knowledge of Myers Briggs but takes team building and self-awareness to an entirely new level.

I’m excited by our progress as an organization since being introduced to Insights, and eagerly anticipate continued transformation of our culture for accelerated effectiveness.” – Sondra

Mike Duijser, Executive VP and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Ecolab

Mike leads with a High Red energy on the Insights Discovery wheel, which means he is very strong with his Extroverted Thinking functions. However, when working with his Global Supply Chain team, he is particularly careful to jot down notes about the personal values that each member of his team is bringing to the group. Then, before closing a team meeting, Mike thanks each and every team member for the values and skills they bring—a very “Green Energy- Introverted Feeling” thing to do—and is so appreciated by his team.

Harold “Took” Osborn, CEO of McIlhenny Company

Took is known worldwide for the iconic Tabasco hot pepper sauce and has practiced his version of L3 by continually elevating his leadership team to highly visible roles when presenting their Strategic Plan to their Board of Directors. This has allowed the executives to feel confident in their ownership and delivery of the Strategic Plan as well as highlight for the Board the deep talent within in their global leadership team.

Paula and Kenny Gamer, President and CEO of Gamer Packaging

Paula and Kenny have demonstrated their focus on Self, Others, and the Business by rolling out the Insights Discovery tool to every single employee. They have focused on smaller team departmental meetings to help each person and team see the relevance and usefulness of the tool for their own internal team dynamics while improving their customer service and responsiveness with their clients.


Griff Davenport, Managing Principal and CEO of DLR Group

This architecture firm is so invested in developing their teams of leaders that they have contracted with Prouty to deliver a full in-house custom version of our L3 program (Leading Self-Leading Others and Leading the Business) with genuine support from the Managing Partners and full attendance to what is now our second cohort of leaders and learners. Each participant receives their Insights Discovery profile and a team wheel to better understand how they can think, act, and build on their skills for the benefit of their teams and organization.

Derek Anders-Turner, Veteran and Technology Solutions Manager at US Bank

Derek is keen to remind us that we are all trying to make sense of the present with an eye to the future.

“We are seeing leaders asking different questions today. They are stepping up, stepping out, and being vulnerable. The push to better understand how to incorporate cultural and diversity changes today is trying to navigate how to ride the big waves of change. Everyone is trying to learn how to surf!  Even if you don’t know how you need to jump in…the fact that you are interested and asking new questions is an important step in the right direction.” – Derek

Keith Baker, Executive Director of ReConnect Rondo

Keith, Executive Director of ReConnect Rondo, one of my oldest friends and colleagues in Minnesota, is working hard to bring communities together during a time of critical reevaluation of how we can repair relationships and rebuild for the future.

He says, “Creating an African American cultural enterprise district connected by a community land bridge is an extraordinary opportunity, not only as an amazing physical achievement, but also for the model it would powerfully represent as a way forward in addressing – and helping to heal — racial disparities and injustice.”

Leadership is clearly both a science as well as an art. We must clarify the vision of where we want to go, establish the pathways to get there from wherever we are starting, and then cultivate the conditions of leadership, learning, and healthy human interaction to foster us bringing our best selves to our work. Simple…but not easy.

I want to thank our clients for continuing the journey with us through challenging times and for showing us, every day, how they are amazing exemplars of leadership through challenging times.

The recipe for success:

Take care of yourselves.
Take care of your people.
Take care of your business.
We can all do more when we look to developing ourselves first and then the people around us.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
African Proverb


Read the Essays from Part Two Here:

Read Essay One, Part Two: Leading Others with Heart and Soul in Challenging Times

Read Essay Two, Part Two: Listen for the Story

Read Essay Three, Part Two: Leadership Lessons From a Former Camp Counselor


Read the Essays from Part One Here:

Read Essay One, Part One: Take a Breath

Read Essay Two, Part One: Permission to Rest

Read Essay Three, Part One: Time for Me



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