We had the good fortune of connecting with Ron Wallace and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ron, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Leadership Matters

If I’ve learned anything during the long course of my life in business, it’s this: leadership and a values- based culture matter.

They are the key components that set great organizations apart from the pack. As the president of UPS International, I worked alongside many types of leaders from around the world, and I learned important lessons in leadership from each of them. The great ones, the less- successful ones, and those who failed all taught me something. Whether they were in charge of small companies or international conglomerates, I witnessed firsthand what they did right and what they did wrong. I took to heart what those experiences taught me.

To me, the most encouraging moments in life do not involve overly complicated, untested ideas. Rather, they are natural, timeless, and orderly progressions marked by accountability.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Starting as a UPS driver in northern Idaho I was fortunate to be promoted into supervision which over a career allowed me to live in over a dozen states and two countries outside the United States At last count in my passports I have visited/worked in over 150 countries. I retired as President of UPS International.

It was never easy. I was blessed by great teams as I had oversight on over 220 countries and 60,000 employees. When my teams took over the International operations UPS had lost billions of dollars for decades. In just over a year my team, not me, my team turned the loss into profitability. How? I gave our management team the freedom to “do it their way.” We right sized the work force, We adjusted the rates to reflect the value and the costs. And we leveraged our brand and services to the world.

The story in a few words is it is always about the people. Our by far the most successful operation in the world was in the Philippines with about 200 employees. On a visit just before I retired I wanted to recognize the best operation in the world. After seeing the excitement in the operation and not only happy but employees passionate about their jobs. I asked the manager his secret. He simply said, It is my four faiths. I believe in God. I believe in my company. I believe in myself. And, I believe in my friends, who just happen to be my employees. And, that in a nutshell is what leadership is all about.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub located in Milton and Brookhaven Georgia.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Don’t ever think that your achievements make you better than those around you. Nor should you ever think that it was you alone who got you there. My UPS leadership book is all about “Building a Culture of We, not Me.

Words could never express what I feel for the many colleagues, mentors, and friends from UPS with whom I’ve had the privilege to serve over the years.

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