What makes an extraordinary leader?

That is the question I was asking myself as I looked at the challenges and opportunities in front of us at Caterpillar. At the end of the year, we were facing another year of flat to slightly declining sales – the fifth year – never happened in Caterpillar’s history and the emotional and leadership toll it was taking on my team was clear. The team was carrying a heavy load on their shoulders.

For this team to inspire others to do their best, as their leader, I needed to inspire. I needed to renew the investment in myself and each of them as leaders to deliver in circumstances that will set us apart in the future on a positive path.

To deliver on this journey, I sought out Ryan Estis and Seth Mattison, two speakers to help drive change. But I was looking for more than the “traditional” “speak an hour” motivational speaker. I needed more. I needed to take my team on a journey of discovery and looking from the outside inwards. My team needed to call upon skills they didn’t even know they had and renew the energy to seek out new opportunities every day.

Ryan and Seth have developed a program that did this for my team and would do it for others who are considering the opportunities which await. The professionalism and deep preparation Ryan and Seth did was clear from the very first phone call. Their research on digital, change, motivation and leadership across industries and across companies is relevant to any leader – whether you lead a small business or a global multi national. We are all facing multiple generations, innovations happening at light speed and as a result business operating at light speed serving demanding customers. The leaders who operate and embrace the speed while slowing themselves enough to reflect and skillfully lead will thrive and serve their teams. Investing in my leadership team to prepare them as individuals for the future has enabled us to operate and move forward together as a team unlike any expectation I had moving into the session with Ryan and Seth.

The night before the seminar, Ryan asked me the question of what I wanted to accomplish. I looked him in the eye and said, at a minimum, I want them to be a changed individual who can thrive (and survive) in the (gut wrenching) challenges ahead. At the most, I’d like a motivated team to come together as a team to seize the opportunities in front of them and continue to position us as global industry leaders for the future. Ryan looked me in the eye and said “I’ll guarantee I can make a personal difference and we’ll do our best to challenge the team to come out of the session and lead differently than they ever thought possible.”

Session delivered!

On both counts which I am hearing about 6 weeks after the session – every single leader has incorporated some method of the motivational day into their personal lives and have banded together to deliver the opportunities ahead. They moved from victims of circumstance to leaders to motivate and deliver.

The attention to details Ryan and Seth did showed throughout the session. Their passion for their subject was demonstrated as they wove the day together in a journey of self reflection, discovery and motivation. I can highly recommend Ryan and Seth’s program to take you and your leadership team to the next level in your leadership journeys. You’ll take a hard look in the mirror each morning and ask the questions that are presented to you to ask each day –

Who did I impact today?

How will I be remembered by the people I worked with today?

You’ll ask better questions of yourself and those around you to inspire the culture and the results you want to achieve. It is a challenge to honestly ask the questions and REALLY listen to the answers as the day inspires you to do, but you’ll achieve results by investing in your leaders with Ryan Estis and Seth Mattison. Invest in yourself and invest in your leadership with this session – cannot recommend enough!

Now for a personal note:

Best session ever attended – forced me to take a hard look at myself and change my routine to push me to the next level of servant leadership and innovative thinking. It is about the impact on others that you can make every day that will really shine after a session with Ryan and Seth. Thanks for making a life changing day and recommend to anyone wanting to seek and provide inspiration.

Barb Schwarzentraub

Director, Component Operations and Supply Chain
Caterpillar Inc.