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Leadership: Is Anyone Following You?

Tuesday, October 21, 2006 was celebrated as Halloween in most of the United States. My team of engineers and help desk associates were feeling the pressure of a heavy workload coupled with a data center upgrade and technology refresh -- we needed to let our hair down, celebrate our successes and reconnect with one another as friends and coworkers and so decided that Tuesday, October 21, 2006 would be dress-up day. Pizza would be served at all three shifts. There'd be prizes given for the best team and individual costumes and for the worst costumes. Both individual contributors and departments would be recognized and thanked by their peers publicly for the small things -- humor, innovation and respect. Tuesday, October 21, 2006 was also executive staff meeting at Kroger's corporate offices and I was dressed, in a theatrical costume with full makeup, as the Queen of Hearts.

As the conference room filled, one of my peers (in a traditional dark suit, white shirt and tie) turned to me and said, "Donna, you know Dave is going to be here, right?".

Dave Dillion was Kroger Company's CEO and Chairman of the Board. Dave's administrative assistant poked her head in the room and announced that Dave would be a few minutes late. We all got coffee and chatted about nothing in particular when the door opened again and in stepped Dave dressed as a Cambell's soup can complete with rosy cheeks and a bag of candy. He'd been walking the floors of Kroger's corporate tower visiting with employees and handing out goodies.

I needed a little boost today and so did a quick Google search for Dave and found this. It was nice to see his face and once again, give thanks for having worked for and with some wonderful folk.

"Leadership: Is Anyone Following You?" by Dave Dillon. The University of Kansas School of Business, published on April 10, 2013.

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