In Episode 20 of the Lead the Future™ podcast, Dr. Vince Molinaro welcomes Mr. Ron Harper, President/CEO of JFE Shoji Power Canada (formerly Cogent Power Incorporated) to discuss leadership accountability and the role it has played in driving success during challenging times. Their conversation delves into JFE’s struggle through the recession, buyout, and pandemic supply chain difficulties and how the organization had to shift its mindset from that of “survival” to “thriving”. Ron emphasizes the importance of a “one company mindset” and the process of creating a common vision for a company, working through disagreements, and creating a true culture of accountability.
Ron Harper has led the growth of JFE Shoji Power Canada to be one of the largest and most diversified suppliers of electrical steel materials and components in North America for over 25 years. He focuses his efforts on building differentiated, value-based business strategies with a strong focus on people-centric cultures, technology, and client-focused innovation.
“One of the things that I liked so much about the way that the [LCI] leadership training was structured, is you start with self-accountability. Most people want to quickly seek accountability from other people towards them, right? But it’s so important to start with accountability within yourself first and being trustworthy. Being prepared to say, “okay, I made a commitment to this, and I am accountable to this first, and so on”. Kind of setting the table for that, as opposed to starting with keeping all these other people accountable to me. So, I think the self-accountability, the team’s accountability to the company, and cultural accountability are really important layers to go through that.” –Ron Harper
Key leadership insights to listen for
- How JFE Shoji Power Canada used the transition to new Japanese ownership to build a “one company mindset” and create a common vision for the company.
- Ron’s philosophy for young leaders to learn from successful leaders’ stories but forge their own path and think critically before implementing any strategies learned from others.
- How to keep the company going through impactful events such as a recession, pandemic supply chain challenges, long sales/acquisition processes, and to be able to move forward stronger than ever.
- What an interdependent leadership style means over hierarchical business cultures of the past.
Ron Harper is a senior leader with decades of experience building differentiated and value-based business strategies, leading to significant growth. He has spent the last 25 years leading the growth of JFE Shoji Power Canada to be one of the largest and most diverse suppliers of steel materials and components in North America.
Ron is currently President and CEO of JFE Shoji Power Canada, a leading, 50-year-old electrical steel material and component manufacturer based out of western Toronto. Ron has held a number of board member responsibilities with several nonprofit organizations, with missions driven towards achieving manufacturing excellence by supporting the training and development of people working in manufacturing, as well as advise on the growth of the manufacturing employment in Ontario and Canada. Ron views leadership as a key component to a healthy leadership culture, starting first with personal accountability, favoring an interdependent leadership style over the hierarchical leadership culture.
- Connect with Ron Harper on LinkedIn
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