Six Leadership Insights from a local “Fortune 1000” CEO

C. Howard Nye, President and CEO of Martin Marietta Materials (photo from Martin Marietta Materials web site)

I continue to enjoy the quarterly C-Suite Perspectives Sessions offered by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce that brings in top executive leaders to share their insights. The June, 2017 meeting featured the President and CEO of Martin Marietta Materials, C. Howard Nye. Martin Marietta is current #607 on the Fortune 500 list and also one of their “Top 100 fastest growing companies.” Martin Marietta is an American-based company and a leading supplier of building materials, supplying the resources necessary for building the solid foundations on which our communities thrive.

As in past C-Suite Perspective Session, Mr. Nye did provide an overview of the value and executable components of their strategy that has led to their ongoing growth and success. For Martin Marietta, these include operational excellence, customer satisfaction, focus on cost drivers and sustainable growth. But beyond these (and truthfully, all organizations have lofty and well-stated values and goals) I am keen to what Mr. Nye shares from his own personal story of leadership and career growth.

My Nye emphasized the importance of building and nurturing an excellent team, and that starts with him as the president and CEO being accessible and visible, especially during difficult times; leading by example; and consistency of message and actions.

Martin Marietta Materials is one of the USA’s leading suppliers of raw materials for road construction. (Photo from the Martin Marietta web site)

The lessons Mr. Nye shared about his own professional journey include:

1) Life and work will often go in unimaginable directions. Embrace this and think constructively.

2) The importance of understanding and relying on your own personal characteristics. For Mr. Nye, these included hard work, creativity and character.

3) Friends and colleagues are critical to your life and career … choose carefully.

4) Know when you are in the right place at the right time, and that includes difficult times. Don’t despair in these difficult times as they may present excellent opportunities to shine.

5) Building a shared set of values, knowing that real values do resonate with the younger generation who are now entering the workplace.

6) Be patient and just don’t focus on short term goals. Those often shift and move, but optimize for the long haul.

Different leaders have different life journeys and key principles to share, and the more we listen to these interesting and diverse journeys, the more we can learn to assist us with our own career and leadership growth.

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Previous C-Suite Perspectives Leadership Blogs

November 2016: Learning about Leadership through Life – with Duke Energy NC President David Fountain

May 2016: Seven Insights on Leadership, Success and Diversity from Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good

Feb 2015: Raleigh Chamber of Commerce CEO Harvey Schmitt shares about leadership and collaboration

May 2014: Exploring Leadership, Talent Development and Innovation with a Local Senior ABB Executive

March 2014: Leadership Advice from a Senior Lenovo Executive