Pacific Leadership Forum

Pacific Leadership Forum
Don’t make key decisions from your chair
Dinner with AIO Group and Pacific Leadership Forum
Serendipity – Star Bulletin
Meeting with bankers
Commerce portion of website
Christine Camp-Friedman interview tomorrow

Today is October 18th, 2005. This is Evan’s Journal coming to you live from Honolulu, Hawaii. Today I was able to attend the Pacific Leadership Forum. It was a conference where they brought down several members of the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics and the main speaker was Don Soderquist. He’s the former, Senior Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Wal-Mart. He was with them from a time when Wal-Mart was $1 billion dollars and was basically one of the key players in taking Wal-Mart to $200 billion dollar growth. I mean that’s just amazing. The company now is the largest company in the world and Don had kind of a vision after he retired from Wal-Mart that ethics and trust and things like that were breaking down so he put together this Center that’s located in Arkansas in order to instill these values and teach about ethical-based leadership.

It’s an interesting seminar because I have to be honest in the very beginning I thought it sounded a lot like a university lecture. You sit there and you hear about ethics and this and that, but I tell you the seminar today was really, really, really excellent. Rob Farrow and his team with Shelia Hodges and Ryan at Creative Catalyst Group did an incredible job putting this thing together in such a short amount of time. And the speakers were really, really interesting. They had excellent stories and if you get a chance to it maybe next year or whenever they come back or sometime even in Arkansas. I think they really have something good going on.

[00:01:43] One story that really caught my ear was Andy Copeland talking about “don’t make key decisions from your chair”. It was a story that when he was promoted to his position of Vice President of a certain division and Sam Walton himself came into his office and started talking to him and him “don’t make any of the key decisions from your chair”. At the time he really didn’t know what it meant but he talked about a story of one of the regional managers had called him and said that he was about to demote one of his store managers. And he was just informing him.

And he said something just doesn’t sound right I’m going to fly down and get to the bottom of this myself, which I guess the other guy really didn’t care for. But through a site visit and talking to the employees and finding out really what the situation was, he found out was that the manager was having issues because they had moved him into a new area, he had no family there, he was trying to run a new store and his wife recently had cancer. So he was taking care of his wife. He was trying to take care of his two kids and also run the store and he was having a tough time with it. So, instead of having that person demoted what Andy did was he rallied the troops around them and made the other regional manager go in and help pick up some of the slack.

That’s really an interesting concept which makes so much sense, “management by walking around”, they call it. And getting into the heart of the matter and into the minds of the people you work with so you really get a good understanding of what the issues are and then you can make a much better decision.

I thought that was one thing that will stick with me for a while, “don’t make a key decision from your chair”.

[00:03:46] Last night we had dinner. The dinner was really intimate and I like that situation I believe a little bit better. There were maybe about five tables or so of eight people I believe per table. So it’s a much more intimate setting. It was at the Outrigger Canoe Club and of course, the Outrigger Canoe Club is real beautiful. It’s right on the water. There were some waves and I was looking at that kind of actually wanting to be in the waves.

The conversation at the table turned out to be extremely interesting and kind of another serendipitous event seemed to have taken place.

[00:04:30] The event itself had to do with a major publication in town that I had been wanting to actually have them do any coverage on us. So initially when I first pitched this idea of Greater Good Radio, most of the media thought I was hokey so they didn’t want to do anything on it. Then when I pitched them on the story that we’re actually running and doing it, it was a non-issue to them. Nobody carried it. And now what’s happening is we’re picking up some momentum and people are starting to pay attention. It just so happens that I sat next to the President and his right-hand man and we struck up a conversation. We seemed to have very similar outlooks on things and some very interesting things may be happening with Star Bulletin.

So we will see, we will see. I hope it works out well, we’ll see.

[00:05:26] Yesterday I had a meeting with the bankers. And the reason I was having this meeting with the bankers is because Central Pacific Bank which is our primary sponsor has been really, really good to us in helping us get started with this program. And I want to feature bank customers because Central Pacific Bank is one of the largest banks in Hawaii. I believe it’s the third largest in Hawaii. They have a lot of really, really good customers that would add a lot of value to the show. But the list that I got back from them initially was not as deep as I thought it would be. Actually there were only a small handful of people on it. So, obviously I thought people are busy. They have other things to do, so I need to engage with them. So, I went in and had meetings with two of the main banking people, I believe they now have a better understanding I want to get a chance to address their teams and then really open them up to what we have to offer. Because if all they did was just listen to the interviews that are on the web site. They get better, because you can’t help but get better when you start hanging out and paying attention to people who are doing really well and successful people. You just cannot help but improve. So, I really think that what Greater Good Radio is being able to do now is to give access to truly great people.


Commerce portion of our web site that thing needs to be completely revamped. I do not like this bid pass system that much, so far. I mean its okay, it makes sense but a lot of people don’t seem to notice it, they don’t seem to use it and I’m thinking about switching to an entirely different commerce system or waiting for the announcement at the Pod Cast Brothers’ Portable Media Expo next month. I’m still trying to figure it out, but we’ll see. That’s going to be at least a one month revamp and I want to revamp the site again, too actually. So we just worked hard the last three months getting this web site up and it looks good but to me when I look at it, there are just too many words. It’s not as simple as it should be. So I might scrap it and go with a whole other thing. It just has to be easier. You know it has to be simple and it just doesn’t look as simple as it could be. I mean it’s simple enough for me because I see it all the time, but I want my grandma to be able to come on and navigate her way around with no problem, which means it’s going to have to get simpler.

[00:08:17] I got an email today from Kirstine Turner, she is from Mauna Wai Corp. and there’s a conference I believe that they’re having so check it out. It is at or click on the link on our web site and it will take you right there.

[00:08:39] Tomorrow’s interview is with Christine Camp-Friedman. She is the founder of Avalon Development Company. I believe they are ranked in the top five real estate companies in Hawaii. Christine is a young entrepreneur, I believe under 40. She was one of the under 40 winners a few years ago. She was the Board Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce this year and also on the Board for Central Pacific Bank. So she’s highly, highly accomplished and she as a very, very interesting story, obviously career-driven and very, very good at networking.

[00:09:22] So, that’s coming up tomorrow and that it for Evan’s Journal and I’ll be doing one more half-day of Pacific Leadership Forum. Hopefully I’ll have another update for you on that and I will touch base with you folks later on in the week. Thanks, Bye.

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