Sunday, July 31, 2016

Interview: Mike Boyd and Lauren Boyd

This month’s featured interview offers two for the price of one: Mike Boyd, president of Creative Source in Canton, and his daughter Lauren, who recently joined Cleveland Clinic as assistant director of development programs.

Mike Boyd and Lauren Boyd at an OSU game
I met Mike six years ago in a networking group meeting, and he’s been a great friend and colleague ever since. We’re both members of the Rotary Club of Jackson Township, and he’s provided outstanding leadership for the club’s signature event, the annual Field of Honor/Field of Heroes, for the past five years.

I first met Lauren four years ago, when she attended a communication styles workshop I conducted at Creative Source. She graduated from Hoover High School in North Canton in 2008 and went on to graduate from The Ohio State University.

I thought it would be interesting to interview Mike and Lauren and see how their perspectives align on such topics as learning, mentoring, and being open to new opportunities.

First, I’ll let Mike’s words reflect the values that have shaped his leadership style and sharpened his focus:

Business story: “After working in the marketing and advertising department for Camelot Music for thirteen years, I was at a career crossroads when Camelot was facing the prospect of bankruptcy in 1996. So several of us who were colleagues there decided to start our own business, which became Creative Source. Today only Dave Hess and I remain with the company. We drew on our experience with creating in-store promotional materials for Camelot and applied it to producing high-impact signs, displays and printing for businesses of all types and sizes. This is our twentieth anniversary year, and it’s been an enjoyable journey and a fantastic learning experience.”

Heroes, coaches and mentors: “My good friend Dean Langfitt from Sandler Training showed up at just the right time in my career, and has taught me a lot about sales. I also got involved in Toastmasters International a few years ago, which has helped me become more comfortable with public speaking and making presentations. The Rotary Club of Jackson Township has provided me with an outlet for public service and networking. I also serve on the board of directors of CommQuest Services in Canton and have been inspired by their work.”

Pearls of wisdom: “Don’t be too busy doing the work to be engaged and network with people. It is important to give back to the community and pass on what you have learned. It is important to be an influencer. Be an active impact player, playing to win versus playing not to lose. Reach out to connect with people face to face.”

Your personal legacy:  “To be engaged and know that I have touched someone's life in a positive way!”


Like her father, Lauren’s experiences and personal values have shaped her perspective on leadership and success. Here are her thoughts:

Business story: “While I was still an undergraduate at Ohio State I worked as a communications assistant in the University Communications office. After graduating I worked in University Marketing as a social and multimedia specialist, focusing on alumni, fundraising and recruitment initiatives. I joined Cleveland Clinic in March of this year as assistant director of development programs, helping patients and donors find ways to support the causes, projects and research that are meaningful to them. The key to the opportunities I’ve had in my career to this point has been to build and nurture strong, lasting relationships.”

Heroes, coaches and mentors: “My dad is my greatest hero and mentor! He has provided me with a solid foundation and helped me forge my independence. He never forced me to go a specific direction, but was always there to offer solid guidance, and in a kind manner challenge my thinking. At his urging I joined Toastmasters International, and it has been one of my greatest assets for professional development.”

Pearls of wisdom: “Everything happens for a reason; if you work hard, you’ll stand out and the pieces will begin to fall in place. The best way to overcome age and stereotypes is by proving yourself and making a difference. Always be willing to be involved, and always be willing to learn.”

Personal legacy: “That I made a difference; that I was inspirational, enthusiastic and passionate about everything that I did. That I worked toward a good cause and enjoyed a happy and fulfilling life.”


For more information about Creative Source, visit For more information about giving programs at Cleveland Clinic, visit

 Jim Ondrus pioneered the management concept of Leadership Transitioning. He is president of JA Ondrus, LLC, a Canton, Ohio executive coaching firm.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Happy Together: The Secret to Staff Success

Recently there was a fascinating article published by Inc. magazine detailing a two-year study conducted by Google that revealed what factors were the keys to staff performance.

The article on the Inc. website
Author Mark Thompson, a California-based business consultant, summarized the study, which ultimately revealed that it’s how a team works together that matters more than who is on it. In other words, recruiting an all-star team of performers isn’t what makes the difference; rather, it’s the common focus and mission of the people on the team—as a whole—that leads to success.

As Thompson wrote, “the rock star status of the individuals selected for the team played a smaller role in organizational success than the willingness of each member to commit serious effort to work together to achieve big hairy audacious goals as a team.”

Big hairy audacious goals. There’s a phrase you don’t hear every day. But it illustrates the point perfectly. You want people working for you, and with you, who are passionately committed to a common purpose—who have the community’s interest at heart, and not just their own.

The survey results align with what we know about Millennials (a topic I wrote about in my last blog post). Millennials are value-based, and expect companies and organizations to focus on people, products and purpose over profit. In a few short years, they will make up the majority of the work force.

In business today, it’s not the top-down-oriented, authoritarian leader who gets results. The old style of leadership has been replaced with one that focuses on bringing a team together and letting them come up with solutions that work.

Our consulting and team-building sessions are oriented to this new way of thinking for a new century. What we’re witnessing, and our clients are discovering, is that management’s job today is truly to bring out the best in people—to motivate them to optimum performance, as a team.

Click here to read the entire article by Mark Thompson at the Inc. website.

Jim Ondrus pioneered the management concept of Leadership Transitioning. He is president of JA Ondrus, LLC, a Canton, Ohio executive coaching firm.