I’ve had the privilege to work alongside a team of really great leaders at Marco. We’ve had a successful run because of the attributes that each brings to the team. They have taught me a lot about leadership. So in my upcoming blogs, I am going to profile a few of our leaders, starting with our Vice President of Operations Scott Roeder.
I first met Scott when he was a Marco customer. He became my golf partner and a personal friend. After the company he was working for was sold, he joined Marco in 1998 as operations manager for the IT division. I knew we could benefit from his experience using continuous improvement to efficiently run operations and his track record as a successful manager.
Scott introduced the practice of Lean continuous improvement to Marco in 2007. His commitment to improving processes has made a big impact on our profitability and supports our growth strategy. Ultimately, Scott was promoted to vice president of operations.
What makes Scott a good leader?
- He’s a task master.
When Scott says that he’s going to do something, he does it. It’s that simple. You won’t hear about all the other things he has to get done. He always seems to find a way. I think part of his secret is his ability to delegate, bring in the right sources and hold people accountable.
- He gets us unstuck.
I know when we are struggling or underperforming in a certain area, we can hand it over to Scott. He will assess it and develop new processes to get results. Take our training program for example. It fell below our expectations for years under various leaders, including myself. Scott took the lead and it has become a pretty robust talent management system that is helping our team members hone their skills and expand their careers.
- He fixes leaks in the business.
Profitability leaks certainly impact a business. The market determines the price, but it does not determine the cost. Scott’s keen ability to manage inventory and effectively distribute our products has allowed us to provide market rate pricing and gain higher than market rate profits – year after year.
- He develops people.
Most leaders think they do this, but in my experience, few do it really well. Rarely will you find a leader who maximizes the output and potential of every team member like Scott does. He will roll up his sleeves, get in the trenches to better understand the task at hand and develop the appropriate people to execute.
- He’s likable.
I mean really likable. He’s probably the most well liked manager in our company, according to our annual employee survey. You’ll find him at all the company events, bringing in treats for his team and organizing social outings. But he’s not just liked. He’s highly trusted. He receives among the best scores in the company in this category, too. He has a direct, but gentle communication style that provides clear direction and encouragement. He’s not the stereotypical ops guy. He brings a high level of passion to everything he does. (That’s probably what makes him such a great golfer, too.)
The best part about Scott is his humility. He’s not a credit taker and he likely will brush off this whole blog and chalk it up to the team he works with. Scott exemplifies what good looks like in a teammate – and a leader. I’m grateful to be able to work, lead, learn and play alongside him.