Investor Spotlight with Roger Price

Posted in News on May 25, 2022

 Investor Spotlight with Roger Price

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You have years of Senior Executive leadership experience. Who are the people who have had a profound influence on you and your leadership style?

Wow, there are so many! Of course my family has had a big influence on me throughout my entire life. The people that really awoke my interest in leadership were the leaders I experienced at Prince Corporation in the 90s (of which there are too many to name).

The leaders I experienced at Prince worked hard to apply the simple, but often difficult, principles that are at the core of great leadership. This led to a lot of uncomfortable moments in the short term (for the leaders and their followers) and it also led to an amazing culture in the long term which was at the core of Prince’s great success.

Since those days, I’ve also gained a lot of insights from my experiences on non-profit boards,  and from colleagues at Courageous Leadership, the Reformed Church in America, and my current team and our impressive customers.

 Talk to us about company culture. What are some values that you and your team live by?

I believe that intentionally shaping culture is the most important thing an organizational leader does. We all know Steven Covey’s famous quote about “culture eating strategy for breakfast”, and I also like Lou Gerstner’s insight that, after leading a turnaround of IBM in the 90s, he shared, “I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—it is the game.”

Ultimately, we have shaped our culture by our decisions of whom to bring on our team and then through our collective behaviors. I’m a big fan of the expression, “I can’t hear what you’re saying because your actions speak too loud.”

We intentionally focus on six values and then work to shape and measure our behaviors against them. Truly being authentic and then providing a safe environment for our customers are two that stick out right away. We also focus on our collective commitment to our mission and to each other. We focus on working hard to provide real value to our customers.

And finally, we focus on being innovative and playful while challenging ourselves to model every leadership practice that we teach.

We know you are someone who gives back to the community in many meaningful ways. Tell us about an initiative that is near to your heart.

I am a longtime investor in our local Boys and Girls Club and over the past 25 years, I’ve considered myself to be a psychological owner of it. Whenever I meet the kids that we help, they always steal my heart. Whenever I talk to Club alumni and ask what the Club meant to them, they consistently share how important it was to them. (Several have said that the Club saved their lives.)

When I think about the impact on our community, I can’t help but see the difference it makes, not only in the quality of our neighborhoods but also financially. When a young person’s trajectory is changed from a dangerous direction to one of becoming a productive member of our society, the impact is significant. I feel good about many things I’ve done in my life (and some not-so-good things), but nothing feels better than my long-term commitment to this great cause that invests in young people and our community.

Your company focuses on leadership development. How did you get involved in this work?

When I left my engineering work at GM in Lansing to become an engineer at Prince I was instantly aware of how different the culture was. WOW! Not only did I become intrigued by it, I quickly wanted to understand and promote it.

As I continued to experience how organizational leadership worked, I found myself wanting to understand it better and do the difficult work of changing myself to be a better leader. I still have a long way to go…

At the same time, someone helped me rediscover the teacher inside of me (I taught tennis as I pursued my engineering degree) and I decided to make the vocational change from engineer to designer/deliverer of effective leader development initiatives. 

What is a book that you’ve read or a resource that you use to help you continually grow as a leader?  

I am a follower of Jesus so the book that I read the most to grow as a leader is the Bible. I have structured my life so that it will orbit around the teachings within this amazing book.

Of course, in the work I do, there are many other books that have captured my attention; too many to mention here. In general I’ve gravitated to the books of Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, Steven Covey, Marcus Buckingham, John Maxwell, Chip and Dan Heath, Brene’ Brown, and many more. If I was forced to pick one book from the past that had a big impact on me, it would probably be First Break All the Rules written back in the 90s.

Can you share why it is a priority for you to invest in economic development? 

When you take an honest look at the things that have the biggest impact on people’s lives, it’s hard not to see that the economic health of an area is at the top of the list.

We have been very blessed by those in the past that did so much to invest in the economic health of West Michigan. I’m sure I could name a dozen or two of these people and I’m sure that just scratches the surface of who has paid it forward for us.

We at Leading by DESIGN feel privileged to also make investments in West Michigan’s future by supporting Lakeshore Advantage and the great work they are doing on behalf of our economic development. We are so fortunate to have them in our corner of the world! 

About Leading by DESIGN

Our team at Leading by DESIGN believes that each person has a unique design and we work to help them discover it, develop it, and then lead from it. Our mission is to help West Michigan be the hotbed of the best leaders in the country… what Nashville is to country music, we should be to leadership. We do this through executive coaching and also through our yearlong LEAD 24/7 program.