Education: MBA, Christian Brothers University; BSIE, Auburn University
First Job: Time and motion studies in our Batesville, MS manufacturing plant
What I'm Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
My Philosophy: Be Remarkable.
Family: I have a wonderful, loving family that has always supported me, challenged me to achieve more, and cheered me on along the way.
Interests: Fitness, waterskiing, cross-country skiing, travel
Favorite Charities: Local charities
Susan Elizabeth Byrd • Parker Hannifin
General manager2011 award winner
Leadership is about people, engaging a team to establish a shared vision, developing an executable strategy, and accomplishing goals that drive the organization forward.
Three leadership principles guide my day-to-day actions: treat all with respect, walk the talk, promise only what you can deliver.
I learned these principles early in my career by watching the best leaders in Parker. I still see it today in my mentors and colleagues that have a passion for what they do and truly enjoy the people they work with. To sustain this culture we are tasked with developing new leaders that understand and demonstrate these guiding principles.
Respect. Respect is not given with title. Respect is earned through our words and actions. As individuals we must treat everyone with respect – listening, communicating and connecting. Every interaction with a person is a chance to learn, a chance to earn respect. I encourage new leaders to know all of their team members by name, to look them in the eyes, and greet them with a smile and say hello. Take a moment to connect, stop and ask how things are going or simply thank someone for a job well done. It sounds easy, but we all get so engrossed in our timelines, tasks, and critical situations that we can forget something so basic yet so powerful.
Walk the talk. Team members are always observing leaders, seeing if their words and actions match. If I tell someone that wellness is important to the overall organization, do my actions support the statement? If I want my leaders to respect others do I do the same when I interact with someone? A leader’s actions define what is important.
Promise only what you can deliver. As a leader, following through on your commitments establishes your credibility. When you give your word and commit to something; deliver on it, and if you believe you cannot deliver on something, do not commit to it. Start meetings on time, finish the project by the due date, attend the dinner you accepted, all of these commitments establish your credibility. Without follow-through your commitments simply become words and empty promises with nothing behind them.
Again, leadership is about people and your team looks to you to see if you enjoy what you are doing. If you are passionate about your work and enjoy what you do, it radiates throughout the whole organization. Be remarkable in all that you do – respect all, have fun and grow leaders.