When Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter took to the field this week for the opening games of Major League Baseball 2009 season at Busch Stadium, they all had two things in common: The drive to win and the equipment to make it happen. We know their drive came from years of perfecting their game. The rest...well...they have thanks in part to our speaker tonight.
Robert Parish isn't a member of the St. Louis Cardinals nor is he on their coaching staff, but his company, Rawlings, a part of Jarden Team Sports, is a bona fide member of the team. In fact, they are members on all major league baseball teams. Jarden is synonymous with baseball and is an important part of America's favorite pastime.
Rawlings and Jarden are heavy hitters in sports equipment. The organization is led by a dynamic individual who recognizes the importance and value of putting the organization first. Robert Parish comes from a sporting goods background having been a fourth generation owner of Worth, Incorporated, founded in Tennessee before it was purchased by the parent company of Rawlings. Although sports is in his blood, business is always top most on his mind as he has shown with his rise to president of Rawlings Sporting Goods and then president and general manager of the Jarden Team Sports Division in which Rawlings resides...that's Jarden, the company named just a few months ago to Business Week's list of the world's most influential companies!
In Robert you will find a leader who possesses a combination of personal humility and professional will. It is a rare kind of Level 5 Leadership trait that is effectively impressive.
Yesterday when Albert Pujols hit his first homerun of the season, as he took his time to "touch them all" as they say, I thought about Rawlings and about what this home run means for them as well.
His topic tonight is Company First, Self Second.
Please join me in welcoming Robert Parish.
""We were all born originals, but most of us spend the rest of our lives trying to be copies. It's your originality that will set you apart." "
- Dr. Benjamin Akande
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