Leadership

World-class leadership lessons: Advice from 100+ award-winning executives

What advice would 100+ visionary leaders from across the U.S. share with Vistage peers? Find out in “World-class leadership in action,” a new e-book exploring the incredible journeys and triumphs of 2021’s Vistage Member Excellence Award winners.

Chosen by members and Chairs, the Member Excellence Awards celebrate the Vistage community’s trailblazers. The stories contained in this e-book speak to their perseverance, bravery and ingenuity in what continues to be an exceedingly challenging time for business — and for people.

Here, 3 Vistage members share some lessons from their leadership journey. 


Lesson 1: Remember, trust starts with integrity

Holly Mazzocca | Cincinnati, Ohio
President, Bartlett Wealth Management
Vistage member since 2019

“What are you building today to make a brighter future for tomorrow?”
Impact Award winner Holly Mazzocca has charted a career path of authenticity while living her values, and helping future leaders do the same. In Bartlett, she leads a company aligned with her pursuit, putting clients first with a core of teamwork, honesty and integrity.

Holly’s tips for leading from the heart:

  1. Bring people together to solve problems and deliver solutions based on skillsets, interests and capacity.
  2. Put your employees and clients first, and make it central to everything you do.
  3. Align your values with your organization. It will sustain you.

Lesson 2: Treat problem-solving as a team sport

Michele Lex | Napa, California
President & CMO, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley
Vistage member since 2016

“Feel emboldened to take challenges on, have faith the teams you put in place are going to be effective, measure, and be willing to admit when you’re wrong.”

With an innovative, relationship-based approach to sales, Leadership Award winner Michele Lex has taken The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley from $18.7M in 2015 to $29M in 2019 (a 54% increase), rebounding with a solid growth pattern after the slowdown of 2020.

Michele’s tips for sales innovation:

  1. Amplify what you do best, even if it’s a break from the norm.
  2. Understand who you are as a brand.
  3. Find the balance between offering a solution (a typical sales proposition), and listening. Sell without them knowing you’re selling.
  4. In any marketing strategy, metrics are the cornerstone.

Lesson 3: Delegate to build trust and accountability

Bob Forbes | Englewood, Colorado
President & Founder, Forbes M+A Group
Vistage member since 2010

“When I think back on the leadership climb, an achievement that really stands out is the first big engagement my company won with zero help from me.”

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bob Forbes is President and Founder of an award-winning transaction advisory firm recognized as a leader in the middle market. Bob has led 150+ corporate finance transactions, developing a culture of trust and caring unique in the investment banking industry.

Bob’s tips for transitioning to working on the business, not just in it:

  1. Fully commit to crossing the chasm. Take risks, let things break, let people fail.
  2. Find out what each person in your company really wants in their lives and help them get it. It’s amazing how they’ll help you in return.

Related resources

The CEO’s Blueprint For World-Class Leadership

Category: Leadership

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About the Author: Vistage Staff

Vistage facilitates confidential peer advisory groups for CEOs and other senior leaders, focusing on solving challenges, accelerating growth and improving business performance. Over 2…

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