Last week I attended the Vistage Executive Summit in New York. I have been a Vistage member for almost 3 years now and am a big advocate for the organization. (If anyone wants to know more about Vistage, please feel free to call me). They have a great variety of speakers who give you different perspectives. This summit was no different and had great speakers. Two of the speakers who stood out the most were Alan Mulally, former Ford CEO and Gary Vaynercheck, f***ing marketing guy.
Alan has a remarkable history of turning around the Ford Company when it dropped to the bottom. He comes across as a very humble and down to earth person. He had no airs or qualms about himself. He shared very basic principles of managing any organization; no matter the size, they must all use “working together principles and practices.” This involves “putting people first” and creating transparency across all levels. You give the same message to everyone at all levels and take interest in each other’s development. Create a healthy environment that is contagious for everyone and do not forget to have fun during the journey. A simple, clear and precise message for all to follow. Thank you for sharing Alan. Respect to you.
Then came Gary. He dropped more “f-bombs” than stand-up comedians do in any weeknight show. He has an interesting background and has done very well for himself. His take away was only one line; “Do your marketing in the present time.” Do not do marketing as per 2002, 2005 or 2010, just f***ing grow-up. If you think that social media is useless and you cannot make money out of it, then you are living in a different planet. Read and learn social media and use it yourself. Cultivate the culture in your organization and encourage this to be used by everyone. Be visible on social media and find your own comfort zone. Interesting and aggressive but definitely a thought-provoking speaker. Loved his energy and all his f-bombs made sure that you were attentive or else you could be one of his targets.
Last but not least, the venue was 1 block away from the Brooklyn Bridge and I snuck out to walk on the bridge. Built-in 1883, this is one of the oldest suspension bridges that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. Featured in more than 15 movies, including Bollywood classic “Kal Ho Naa Ho” starring Shahrukh Khan, this bridge has some stunning views of the NYC skyline.
This was the perfect ending to a perfect day. Thank you, Vistage.