Turknett Leadership Group

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3rd Annual Leadership Character Awards - 2005

Turknett Leadership Group recognizes individuals from MATRIX, BellSouth, EarthLink, UPS, Girl Scout Council and the InfoMentis organization

Turknett Leadership Group, whose work with leaders and organizations is centered on developing leadership at all levels, announced the winners of the Third Annual Leadership Character Awards at a luncheon event held February 6, 2006 at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead.

More than 350 of Atlanta's top business leaders gathered to recognize this year's individual and organization winners, each chosen for best exemplifying the standards set forth in the Turknett Leadership Character Model. The winners are listed as follows:

•  CEO/Pres./Partner Category                  Jim Huling, MATRIX Resources, Inc.

•  Executive/Manager Category                 Valencia I. Adams, BellSouth Corp.

•  Executive/ManagerCategory                  Ken Uhlig, EarthLink

•  Associate Category                                  Vic Kimble, UPS

•  Non-Profit/Education Category                Harriet Hessam, Girl Scout Council, NW GA

• Organization Category                               InfoMentis  

Jim Huling, CEO, MATRIX Resources, Inc. - CEO/Pres.Partner Category

As a leader, Jim has been honing his skills and developing his character for many years and continues to do so, recognizing that it is a life-long commitment. He has made sure that integrity is the number one value for his company and according to those who work with him every day, “he acts from his heart, tells the truth even if it’s not good news, is sincere in his care for all individuals, isn’t afraid to show that he’s human and is willing to admit mistakes.”

His willingness to show his vulnerability has generated a high degree of trust, respect and loyalty among the staff. They believe that the things Jim does for people when no one is looking are the greatest examples of his personal integrity. He is that rare individual who acts totally in accordance with his beliefs.

Clearly, one of those beliefs is respect. Jim genuinely strives to “live” the definition of respect as outlined in the Turknett Leadership Character Model – and as a result, his behavior is emulated throughout his company. He is a role model for openness, inclusiveness, honest and unfiltered feedback, and he has a special gift for listening, and often hears the real message that’s not expressed.

Finally, in the area of responsibility, Jim creates an environment where everyone feels like an owner and the people who generate the idea or do the work get the credit. Each department sets their own W.I.G.s (Wildly Important Goals) which all tie to the overall company goals and are updated and published every 2 weeks. Twice a year the company surveys everyone on their foundational values and the results - along with customer satisfaction scores - are displayed in the lobby for everyone to see.

Valencia I. Adams, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, BellSouth Corp. - Executive/Manager Category

Beginning her career over 30 years ago in an entry-level position at BellSouth, Valencia Adams has consistently demonstrated her integrity and her respect for others every day in every interaction.

As stated in her nomination, “Valencia’s word is her bond and everyone who knows her knows this to be the case. She is willing to have tough conversations while still honoring and respecting the other person. She has achieved great success by valuing the people she met and worked with along the way.”

Whether in her work, personal or community life, Valencia deeply cares and engages others in a meaningful way. As a prolific mentor, she is known for telling the truth while providing wise counsel and encouragement.

Having risen to the top ranks of the corporate world, Valencia possesses the highest degree of responsibility and a superior work ethic. She is confident in her own abilities yet humble enough to admit mistakes and she always insists on top results through people. Her focus encompasses both the big picture as well as attention to detail and she never fails to deliver on her commitments.

Valencia is an outstanding servant leader of character who makes a positive difference wherever she is. She is followed and admired not because of her title or position but because of who she is.

Ken Uhlig, CPO and Executive Vice President of Human Resources, EarthLink - Executive/Manager Category

Ken is a man whose vision, integrity, courage and commitment to people has positively transformed the function for which he was hired several years ago and for which he is now responsible.

Ken’s nomination clearly and comprehensively illustrates how he exemplifies the Turknett Leadership Character Model and all of its qualities.

First – in integrity –

  • - He communicates his values and his direction and supports his words with actions. Continually placing people in stretch roles, he says, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you fail.”
  • - He gives honest, constructive feedback – taking the time to understand the total person.
  • - He’s also a tireless champion of doing what’s right.

When it comes to responsibility, Ken is:

  • - Highly effective in aligning employee practices and business strategy
  • - An equal partner on the executive team and delivers measurable results that drive strategic objectives

Ken is always available. Most remarkably, he senses when an employee needs to talk and has been known to drop everything to listen, or just provide a safe place where the “whole person” feels valued. He also keeps confidences, seeks input, and encourages you to share views differ than his. In fact Ken never claims to be an expert in everything and never upstages anyone. As a result, he inspires teamwork.

Vic Kimble, Service Provider, UPS - Associate Category

Although his position may not typically be considered a leadership role, this individual has expanded responsibilities beyond the day-to-day that qualify him as a leader in his workgroup. As a driver and shop steward for “Big Brown,” Vic Kimble is one of his company’s best and most trusted assets.

In his role as shop steward, Vic demonstrates his integrity in every situation by carefully weighing the issues and making decisions according to the rules, not his personal feelings. He consistently takes in all the facts of a situation in order to make a good decision, regardless of who will benefit.

Vic also demonstrates respect by being an humble leader in his role as shop steward and he takes his responsibilities very seriously. He must not only be empathetic but also extremely levelheaded in what can sometimes be very tense situations. Vic is also a respected mentor to young drivers - while “walking the talk” and holding his own job performance to the highest standards of quality.

In the area of responsibility, Vic clearly shows his willingness to focus on the what’s good for the company in terms of its ability to compete. Understanding how important new technology is to the future of UPS, Vic not only volunteered to participate in a test case, but he also recruited other drivers and held them accountable to their results.

Another example of leadership character: Vic took a young driver with two backing accidents under his wing and without being asked, he worked with the individual on his own time to instill the importance of safety to himself, his family, the company and the community.

Harriet Hessam, CEO, Girl Scout Council, NW GA - Non-Profit/Education Category

Since her first day on her new job in September, 1997, Harriet Hessam has dedicated herself to one vision and one mission – to get the Girl Scout program to an many girls and young women as possible and deliver it as a high-caliber, meaningful offering that would make a difference in the lives of the participants.

As a leader grounded in integrity, Harriet has built an environment of trust and excitement by charting a new, dynamic course for the Council. She always takes times to visit personally with volunteers and staff to hear their ideas and to act appropriately upon them. She also responds to all questions and concerns in an open, straightforward manner.

Demonstrating her deep-felt respect for others, Harriet steadfastly supports and values diversity - a cornerstone of Girl Scouting since 1912. Harriet was selected for the 2001 inaugural class of the Diversity Leadership Academy. That same year, she also received United Way’s “Valuing Diversity Award.”

Several years ago, knowing that the greatest barrier to membership growth is available, qualified volunteers to serve as troop leaders, Harriet launched an innovative campaign - targeting a new audience – career women ages 18-34. This highly successful campaign has not only received national recognition in the Wall Street Journal, on the “Today Show,” and on CNN, it is being replicated across the US.

Most recently, in Oct. 2005, Atlanta hosted the 50th Girl Scout Nat’l Convention, with over 15,000 attendees. Harriet Hessam’s leadership and influence in this accomplishment and in all of the amazing accomplishments of the NW GA Council over the past 8 years cannot be overstated.

InfoMentis - Organization Category

InfoMentis is a global skills training and consulting company which teaches organizations how to leverage their day-to-day, customer-facing activities including sales and service.

InfoMentis believes that integrity in practice is not just about the rules and moral values, but about the affirmation of shared values such as honesty and fairness and always doing the right thing. They define integrity as “those shared values, attitudes and behaviors that help us act responsibly in both our personal and professional lives.”

One of their guiding principles is “do the right thing and the money will come.” A classic example of this was when InfoMentis suggested that a valued client investigate other options for a particular project where InfoMentis had no proven track record. They did this at considerable financial risk, but they honestly were not sure they were the right resource. In the end, however, the client chose InfoMentis for the project, which resulted in millions of dollars in new revenue and a very satisfied and even more loyal client.

In the area of respect, InfoMentis believes that you support others’ decisions even if you don’t always agree. How you recruit and hire, how you compensate, how you achieve success with diverse input, how you treat everyone, even how you attract and retain exceptional clients is what InfoMentis means by Respect.

And when it comes to responsibility, InfoMentis is second to none in getting the job done, delivering on promises, being innovative, putting the customer first and helping their clients achieve breakthroughs in performance. Their focus is always “AIM HIGHER.”

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