Fernando Martinez Defines the 7 Attributes of True Leadership

“Leadership is the ability to motivate and lead individuals, teams, and organizations through discovery, discussion, and actions they would not have arrived upon on their own.”

It took a lifetime of work, research, experimentation, and refining before I arrived at my definition of leadership.  To become a great leader, more importantly a visionary-leader requires a significant deal of work and conscious effort. I had to be very intentional in my search for understanding what a great leader does, why a great leader seeks this role, and ultimately understand how to become a visionary.

1st attribute of Leadership – Desire:  I consciously committed myself to become a great leader.  It takes time, effort and risk.

2nd attribute of Leadership – Be a Teacher:  I have enough confidence in myself to be willing to share all my learning’s from my work, education, and experience.

3rd attribute of Leadership – Challenge:  I have been willing to lean forward into risk throughout my career and being a provocative thinker: consistently asking the question “So What?” – not to be difficult but to encourage thoughtfulness and deep level 2nd and 3rd level thinking (i.e., critical thinking).

4th attribute of Leadership – Courage:  Intelligently face challenges.  It takes courage to lead into the fray day-after-day, defining accountability, holding people accountable, and putting the right people in the right seats.

5th attribute of Leadership – Team Builder:  Respect for everyone is the foundation of building a team: Respect for themselves; their teammates, and, for the organization.  Respect for the leader that sets the course and helps them understand how to get there.

6th attribute of Leadership – Collaborator:  Very early in my career I found that all the good leaders pull all the appropriate resources/stakeholders together and help them achieve a common goal.

7th attribute of Leadership – Communicator:  Without the appropriate level of communication the other characteristics of leadership are of no value.  A good leader communicates, communicates, communicates!

Lastly, as these seven attributes build upon each other and become an innate skill, we achieve the pinnacle of leadership – Insightfulness – Visionary:  Through my years of experience I feel I have moved from being a first line employee to becoming a Visionary – a state of “Enlightened Competence.”  This is a state true leaders desire to achieve.  It is the state where we see things no one else sees as well as gaps, solutions, opportunities, and improved methodologies that no one else sees. This is the highest state of Leadership we can achieve – become a Visionary, become a Great Leader!

Download – Fernando Martinez Defines the 7 Attributes of True Leadership

Covid-19 2020 Impact by Fernando Martinez

President and CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, Fernando Martinez, shares information regarding the impact of Covid-19 on Minority Business Enterprises and Corporate/Public Agency Members in 2020.

 

COVID-19 2020 Impact Presentation

Strategic Approach Samples by Fernando Martinez

President and CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, Fernando Martinez, helps Corporate Members strategize Supplier Diversity efforts for the future. Below is a sample deck including some of the Council’s approaches towards equity in Diversity and Inclusion practices in supply chains.

Strategic Approaches Northwest Mountain MSDC Sample Deck

Best Practices – Effective Networking

This is a continuation of “How to Prepare for Effective Networking.”

We polled some of our corporate members and MBEs on effective networking. They sent us some of the best practices, tips, and Dos and Don’ts of networking.

When you get there:

  1. Be patient.  (Networking and establishing business relationships takes time).
  2. Come in with a targeted list of who you want to make an impact with and what you will offer.
  3. (Remember to always) be professional, have a professional presence.  First impressions are important.
  4. When I’m networking, I like to start out with the mindset of, “How can I help the people I meet?”
  5. Relax, networking events can be overwhelming at times.
  6. Believe that you can and will make great progress.  After making all the necessary preparations, having the right mindset can lead to many great things.

How to introduce yourself:

  1. Keep your introduction succinct.
  2. Offer a handshake and introduce yourself and what organization you are with. (Remember the name. Use it three times and it’s yours.)
  3. Smile… be welcoming.
  4. Don’t assume that the person that you met previously will remember your name!  Unless a person is addressing you by your name when you see them again, then assume they don’t know and state it again.

During the conversation:

  1. Show passion for what you do.
  2. LISTEN closely to what’s being said.
  3. Listen twice as much as talk. Ask questions.
  4. Show excitement for what they do.
  5. Write down information in stenography notebook.
  6. Consider this first meeting as an opportunity for relationship building and for future opportunities to connect… you’re not going to get it all done with the first meeting, so don’t try.  We don’t want to (and you shouldn’t want to) spend 30 minutes with any one individual at a networking event.
  7. Don’t be disappointed if a target corporation is not interested or doesn’t have any current opportunities.  It’s better that you know now than be strung along.
  8. However, don’t assume that corporations do not talk to each other… we do!  And often times, we can be your resource to meet other potential targets.

How to make the most out of it:

  1. Ask about other companies attending the event that they should meet.  We can be very helpful this way and want to direct you to those that can benefit from knowing more about your company.
  2. Instead of trying to collect contact information, I’m actively listening to the people I meet at an event and trying to figure out how I can help them solve a problem.
  3. If I can’t help them directly, I connect them with someone in my network who can do that for them. I try to be a connector and give more value than I get.
  4. Team up with an existing customer to use as an immediate reference to your work when meeting future/potential customers.  An in-person testimonial can seal next steps quickly.
  5. Seek to develop a relationship with the event host leadership.  In the case of the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council, a MBE should develop a solid rapport with the CEO, Staff, Board of Directors and Corporate sponsors.

How to close:

  1. Make the ASK and go for the appropriate close so you get a chance at the next steps.
  2. Exchange cards and ask if you may contact them.
  3. Ask for a business card and let them know you’ll be contacting them in the near term to provide an electronic capabilities statement, but also an email to better define your value proposition for that particular corporation.
  4. Don’t ask for a business card if you have no intention of following up.  If you have provided us with your business card… we’ll remember that you didn’t follow up.
  5. If you make a solid corporate connection during an event and you would like to follow-up with that person, politely ask if you can schedule a meeting with them right on the spot!  Recommendation – ask for a date at least 30 days out from the current date to minimize potential conflicts as many Supplier Diversity professionals typically have a busy travel schedule.  Also for an initial call, I recommend you ask for a 30 minute or less conference call – not an hour.

What not to do:

  1. Don’t let nerves take over so you keep talking, don’t dominate the conversation.
  2. DO NOT take all of their time or make them feel captive.  Networking is meant to mingle with many people.
  3. Don’t try and “sell” your company’s products and services at a networking event unless the conversation lends itself to that; on the other hand, be prepared to clearly articulate your business in a 15 second elevator pitch because invariably someone will ask you “what do you do”.
  4. Don’t try to land a job, your goal is to make the introduction
  5. Don’t distribute handouts… this is not the time or place.
  6. LEAVE any marketing materials at home – give and collect business cards.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog: Dennis Brooks, Lisa Castillo, Pedro Castro, Lana Gosnell, James Hing, Sharon S. Lucas, Fernando Martinez, and Swen Nater.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors, contributors, references and commenters on this site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council or its employees, stakeholders, members and sponsors. Any mention of other companies and organizations aside from the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council does not necessarily reflect or represent the views, opinions or positions of those companies and organizations or their employees, stakeholders, members and sponsors. Read more: Legal Disclaimer

How to Prepare for Effective Networking

Direct recommendations from Supplier Diversity Executives and MBEs

Northwest Mountain MSDC events provide excellent venues for business networking. While preparing for the 2018 Annual Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, we polled some of our corporate members and MBEs on effective networking. They sent us some of the best practices, tips, and Dos and Don’ts of networking.

Please remember that these are the opinions of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Council, and these apply to Premiere Events. For full legal disclaimer please visit the Council’s Disclaimer Page.

Preparing for the Event:
Before you attend an event, decide what success looks like for you. Document your objectives for the purpose of observing what you achieved after participating.
Plan your strategic approach and strategic communication.
Be prepared, review the members list before hand and set a goal for who you want to meet.
Identify important people you want to meet and reach out in advance, if possible. Say “Looking forward to meeting you.”
Make the most of your time by ensuring you do your homework and be prepared for those you will be meeting with.

On what to say:
Prepare a short paragraph on exactly what you do. Practice it.
Refine the introduction of yourself and the business your represent – customize an introduction for a corporate target vs an “unknown” individual, but also identify whether you are the business owner, BD rep, etc. We want to know who we’re talking to.

Have your elevator speech solid and ready including what is your value proposition specific to those you’re targeting at the networking event. A generalized value proposition doesn’t always cut it. Elevator speeches should not be more than 3 minutes.
Don’t try to land a job, your goal is to make the introduction.

On preparing your questions:
Building rapport with someone is extremely effective if you are good at asking questions – practice listening more and talking less.
Make a list of questions you want to ask your target company. It shows interest and intent. The answers you receive may also help develop your business strategy.

On what to know:
Know your audience: in other words, do your homework on WHO is attending the networking event and then DO research about them before you get to the networking event so you’re up to date about their business model, recent press releases & strategy plans.
Check out the company’s Supplier Diversity website – not all programs are the same and it will give you a foundation of understanding what you need to say.
Research the company’s mission, so you know their company’s top priorities and it then becomes apparent you have done your research.
If you can, KNOW what your future potential customer needs are BEFORE the event so that you network with future customers who actually could consume your products or services. A win-win for both parties at a networking event.

On preparing your value proposition:
Be prepared to communicate your value proposition and what makes you different than your competition. (Corporations are contacted by hundreds of suppliers via email, at events, phone calls etc., each supplier wants a contract and would like to do business with us – but why should we do business with you versus the other 99 suppliers who approached us before you? What makes you different? Be prepared and ready to communicate this).

Practice! Practice! Practice!
Practice your introduction with what you want to offer.
Practice on your elevator speech and make it brief but informative. Be professional!

On what to bring:
Bring business cards!
Know who is coming so you can plan what to say and what to bring.
Come in with a targeted list of who you want to make an impact with and what you will offer.
Bring a stenography notebook for writing down contacts. Four columns: Name, Organization, Position, Notes.
Always bring enough of your business cards to any event.
Don’t distribute handouts… this is not the time or place.

LEAVE any marketing materials at home – give and collect business cards.

On who to bring:
BRING your owner and decision makers to build those relationships and show the face of your company beyond the sales person.

What not to miss:
Be professional, have a professional presence and proofread your marketing materials. First impressions are important.
(With regards to your business cards) from a print perspective, glossy business cards look cool, but I prefer a semi-matte finish so that I can write on my cards with a ballpoint pen. This may be a website, an app, or a quick tip I can share with someone. It attaches greater value to my name and it’s convenient.
Make a list of current or past business partners that you can talk about and use as reference during and after networking.
If you can find an “icebreaker” or someone to make the introduction that is really helpful but not necessary.

A note (or more) on what to wear:
Over dress! Make sure to be in Business Professional Dress (No 2nd chance for a 1st impression).
Dress like an executive.
Wear something to an event that is professional, but memorable! Most business events have a plethora of people wearing black, however bright, solid colors really stand out. While your connection may not remember your name the next time, they may remember something about your outfit.
Dress appropriately & drink responsibly.

Final tip:
When you know that some of your target corporations will be attending a networking event…DO some homework, but DON’T dominate their time. Remember, this is your first opportunity to meet your target and leave a lasting and great impression. Make sure you leave us wanting to further the conversation because having a foundation of a strong relationship will keep you memorable.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog: Dennis Brooks, Lisa Castillo, Pedro Castro, Lana Gosnell, James Hing, Sharon S. Lucas, Fernando Martinez, Swen Nater.

The above information is intended solely for personal non-commercial use. Any information taken from this page is the full responsibility of the user. While we have taken every precaution to insure that the content is both current and accurate, errors can occur. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. Please read our legal disclaimer.

NWMMSDC Value Proposition

The Council developed six value propositions focusing on its stakeholders’ needs. Led by President and CEO, Fernando Martinez, the team prioritizes the needs of all stakeholders of the NWMMSDC.

Watch Fernando discuss the Council’s value at the Leadership and Advocacy Awards Luncheon.

 

NMSDC Value Propositions:

The NMSDC believes our Corporate Members will bolster and execute their business strategy in a cost effective, innovative, creative, efficient, and, therefore profitable manner through active participation and integration of qualified, capable, and scalable MBEs (Minority Business Enterprises) into their supply chain resulting in a higher probability of MBE development and growth, thereby driving economic value to our various communities.

Corporate Member Value Proposition:

The NMSDC believes our Member organizations will be able to more cost effectively drive creativity, innovation and efficiency by integrating Council Certified Minority Business Enterprises into their supply chain, thereby delivering best-in-class service to their customer base while simultaneously improving the communities within which they operate, achieving improved community wealth, health, and education.   

MBE Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC (Council) provides business opportunities to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) looking to expand their professional network. The Council hosts connects and coaches MBEs to a standard required to work with large private corporations and public agencies. With active participation, MBEs can take advantage of the Council’s support and with time, develop into businesses capable of national contracts.

Regional Council Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC commits to share resources, opportunities, and processes to support affiliate councils in order to increase the NMSDC network’s overall ability to better serve its regional/national members, Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and communities. Engaging in this process will increase the possibility of delivering a consistent level of output across the NMSDC.

Community Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC leads engagement between Minority Business Enterprises and corporate/public agency members enabling active community involvement towards economic growth, job creation, tax base increase and community vibrancy.

Employee Value Proposition:

The Northwest Mountain MSDC (Council) welcomes every employee into its small, unique, and efficient team, where everyone is involved in the working process. Every staff member is encouraged to open his or her potential, contributing to a healthy work environment that is constantly evolving. The Council gives employees opportunities for professional growth and personal development by conducting consistent employment market research, providing competitive rates, evaluating standards and expectations for its employees.

View PDF – Council Value Proposition

NWMMSDC Demonstrates Value

Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, presented at the 2017 Annual Awards Dinner and Silent Auction on the Council’s Value and Supplier Diversity, a strategy for the long run.

 

Council Value Presentation