Hello everyone. I wanted to give you an update on our Standing Tall in an Upside-Down World principled leadership initiative. This is a program the University of Wyoming College of Business and the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership co-developed for the Wyoming business community. The sessions run approximately three hours (including breaks) and are centered on the 10 principles Jim Owen identifies in his Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from The Code of The West book. The program also features about 45 minutes of strategically placed video clips that complement the subject matter. We market the sessions through the Wyoming Chamber Partnership. Attendance is limited to about 25 people in order to promote discussion. The fee is $250 per participant. If a company sends more than one representative, each additional participant is $200. Revenues benefit the college’s ethics program and participating Chamber organizations. The college also donates a portion of its revenue to the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership.
The first session was held in Cheyenne Thursday, February 9, 2012. The president of the Cheyenne Chamber (Dale Steenbergen) said they met their 25-person registration quota in a little more than 24 hours.
With the exception of one brief power outage, the day went off without a hitch. At our request, the Chamber solicited comments from the participants. In seeking feedback, we asked for critical comments so we could improve the program. So far, we have received the following responses either from the Cheyenne Chamber or through emails that were sent directly to us:
- Bob Harmon, General Manager, Cheyenne Holiday Inn – Chamber report: “Feels the session was absolutely worthwhile and will incorporate it into his training. Also wants to buy Cowboy Ethics books for his staff.”
- Dennis Humphrey, Owner, Capital Roofing – “I enjoyed the session and it helped me clarify how to better implement the code at Capitol Roofing. The 10 principles have been posted on the wall in the showroom area at Capitol for over a year. I was shocked this morning at our sales meeting how few of our sales people could cite even a few of the values. Shows I've got more work to do to better implement the code, but I will get it done.”
- Barbara Brennan, Owner, Hearth and Home – Chamber report: “Wants to put her whole staff through the program.”
- Bill and Brooke Cushing, Owners, National Property Inspections – Chamber report: “They felt strongly about the simple clear tenants that even a child can remember and relate to.”
- John McBride, Legal Counsel, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Wyoming – Chamber report: “Admitted he didn’t know what to expect and was skeptical. However, he came away inspired and really ready to do more. He is a Wyoming native and has uncles and grandparents that lived by these principles.”
- Andy Worshek, Director of Human Resources, McGee, Hearne & Paiz, LLP – “Thank you for your willingness to get involved with this project. I am a firm believer in principle-centered leadership and have experienced firsthand the results of leadership that is motivated by enduring principles. I thought you communicated the principles of Jim’s book in a manner that was thought provoking and inspiring. Getting the participants involved in the discussion through the development of an 11th principle was brilliant. I have been through numerous classes, seminars, and meetings where codes and mission statements were sold as the end all of leadership and motivation. Your realistic presentation of the Code of the West, coupled with a manner in which one could challenge their personal application of the principles will leave a lasting impression on those courageous enough to critically self–assess and take action. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with other leaders in my community and hear how they are using the code in their businesses and lives. I will use my position in my firm to encourage other leaders to get involved in a Standing Tall session.
- Gregg Jones, President, Jonah Bank – Chamber report: “Greg was ‘WOWed’ by the program. He has been involved with the principals for years and said the material just doesn’t get stale or trite.”
Thank you. We hope to see you at a Standing Tall session in the very near future.
Kent Noble, UW College of Business