Rich Crawford: “The Best Leader”
Rich Crawford, founder and president of R. Crawford LTD., spoke last Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at Baker Theater for the Walter Center Leadership Series. Crawford’s background is in engineering, managing, and consulting. He now sits on the board of three different companies. Ohio University professor John Nobles kicked off the event with a brief introduction. He explained Rich Crawford as exemplifying what it is like to be “the best leader”. Crawford was characterized by words and phrases such as inspiring, believing in the creation a great team, and taking responsibility for possible failures; all three traits are what fantastic leaders possess.
Rich Crawford began his presentation by explaining who he is and what he has accomplished throughout his career. As the presentation went on, it became clear that Crawford attributes all of his success to the people he has worked with and the teams he has been a part of. Throughout his speaking, he mentioned how important it is to have an unwillingness to compromise your values and integrity- leaders stay strong to who they are. Crawford presented many fantastic pieces of advice about one’s professional life. Here is a snippet of what that advice is:
People first, people always
“I think there are great people and there are great teams and thus, great companies,” said Crawford when referring to what successful business practices are. Companies work much better when the people and teams within them are working diligently and cooperatively. Being a part of a team means thinking about what you want to say and how you want to say it. The key to creating a successful team is remaining open minded and thinking about how to respond in a positive, yet precise way to one another.
Leader and the people
“If the people aren’t happy, it’s my fault,” said Crawford. The attitude of the company is a direct reflection of the leadership. No individual, no leader, can be successful without a great team. As a leader, creating an environment that is trustworthy, teamwork-focused, and transparent allows a company to really take off. Crawford mentioned that the most successful companies he worked for were successful because the leadership encouraged an environment based on the people.
Rich Crawford had a huge impact on those who attended this event. His words of wisdom drawn from his lengthy professional experience provided a lot of ideas for students to reflect on, in regards to their own leadership and teamwork skills. Many thanks to Rich Crawford for taking the time to come and talk to our wonderful students!