“And just by recognizing your own fear you become…more personable and more trusted as a leader. And so many leaders don’t want to do that. “I can’t be…I can’t show fear because then people won’t…” You know what? If I can’t show fear and then people can’t follow me, there’s a bigger problem with me.”
Join host Tricia Halsey as she explores what generous leadership looks like from the “top” with Ron Dunlap, President of Graebel Companies, a global workforce mobility company serving 165 countries from 17 different locations across the globe. In this episode Ron shares about the loneliness of executive leadership, as well as the joy of nurturing a culture where employees believe they are a family that is defined by truth, love and integrity. Ron is a guy’s guy, a tough-minded special ops veteran who has learned that true strength comes from the courage to be vulnerable and to always do the right thing, even when it isn’t the “right thing.”
Ron Dunlap serves as Graebel Companies’ President and Chief Operating Officer where he oversees the organizational health and growth of a global company in the relocation industry. Before joining Graebel, Ron held a variety of roles managing IT, operations, client and vendor relations, quality performance, and planning and analysis. Ron is a veteran of the United States Air Force and has a Master’s and Doctorate in experimental psychology and statistics from Texas Tech University.
- How Ron’s upbringing, family history, service in the military and his education journey through psychology and statistics shaped him to be the leader he is today.
- The story of Graebel Companies and the incredible brotherhood relationship between Ron and CEO Bill Graebel.
- How Graebel Companies quickly planned to cut tens of millions of expenses and implemented that plan in 3.5 weeks after the COVID closures in March 2020.
- The family atmosphere of Graebel Companies has contributed to the unity among staff to take pay cuts so that the family can care for every person the best way possible.
- Ron speaks to the “loneliness at the top” because of the way a leader must make hard decisions that negatively impact people sometimes. In those cases, some people can judge the intentions of the leader making the decision.
- How to lead a culture based on truth, love and integrity.
- The value of compassion when people make mistakes and how to be authentic in the tough times.
References and Resources
- “With more influence comes more responsibility.”
- “Yes, we have to have strong financial performance, but it’s doing the right thing even when it’s not the right thing.”
- “You learn real quick that you’re not the smartest person in the room. You find the smartest people for the particular areas you’re responsible for, and you get out of their way.”
- “It’s okay to make a mistake, just don’t go too slow.”
- “Yes, there’s going to be the 20% naysayers—I don’t care where you are going to go, you are going to have them. I hope that we can win them over. And if not, chances are they’re probably going to find someplace else to work because we’re not changing. That’s the one thing that I can promise you. We’re not changing wo we are.”
- “People who are really out for themselves are going to be the loudest.”
- “Whenever people make a mistake I’ll ask questions, I’ll try to understand why, but I will never ridicule. I will never question someone’s integrity or what were they thinking or how could that happen. I just try to learn.”