Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rosario Bazan, Lessons From a Leader

For the last week I have been in Trujillo, Peru.  I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to accompany the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business students from Utah State University on a SEED project that has been in the works since 2007.  The university has teamed up with the company Danper to work with some of the local Peruvians on helping design, fund, and grow small business'.  Danper is a giant among companies in Peru, focusing their efforts on growing and exporting many different agricultural products to different countries.  They became involved with this project as a way to give back to the community.  The students, faculty and businessman from Logan and Utah State are all first class.  I've been lucky to get to associate with them this week.

Tonight I had a special experience.  We went to Danper and met with their founder and President, Rosario Bazan.  I have heard much about Rosario since becoming involved in the SEED program at Utah State.  Tonight was my first time visiting with her in person.  I now know first hand why she is successful.

As I listened to Rosario talk, I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite business books, Good to Great.  A part of this book analyzes the characteristics of the CEO's of the most successful companies in the U.S. They refer to these leaders as level 5 leaders.  What may be surprising is these leaders are not "larger than life" personalities.  These are very humble, but driven leaders.  They are filled with an overriding desire to do what is right, and to do that 100% of the time.  Their focus is on the well being of not just their company, but the people who they employ, and the community as a whole.  Rosario Bazan encompasses all of these characteristics. 

She shared with us a recent experience she had.  She just finished a successful campaign to become the first woman president in the 110 year history of the Chamber of Commerce here in Trujillo.  Trujillo is the 3rd largest city in all of Peru.  There was much adversity in her campaign, including some harsh criticism from previous presidents.  The criticism didn't just come as a result of Rosario being the first woman president, but more so because they knew that she wouldn't allow the ever present corruption that has filled the chamber over the previous years.  Everyone knows where she stands in regard to adhering to ethical business practices. 

Throughout the campaign, she wondered if this was worth the effort.  Besides, she was the president of a major company.  In one of the darkest moments, she found herself visiting with her 16 year old daughter one evening.  Her daughter gave her some very wise counsel.  She said that this was something that she had to do.  She had to stand up for what is right and not allow the harsh criticism of those not wanting Rosario as president to overcome her.  This wasn't easy, but she had to do it because it was the right thing to do!  It was the needed words of encouragement to help Rosario push forward.  She ended up receiving 80% of the votes when the election was all said and done!

This reminded me of many experiences I have been reading about from those affiliated with Reece's Rainbow.  Their efforts to help save a child with Down syndrome that otherwise doesn't have a chance are noble and courageous.  Yet their efforts at times are confronted with criticism and harsh adversity.  I know that no one takes more criticism than Reece's Rainbow founder Andrea Roberts.  However, just like Rosario, we all push forward together.  We know the work must be done because we know in our hearts that it is the right thing to do. 

Upon leaving Danper I saw this sign that all 6,000 of their employees see each and every day.  It reads, "Where a problem exists..., there is an opportunity to become better."  What wonderful counsel.  Anything that is worth doing is worth doing right.  Anything that is good will always be confronted by evil.  It is a law.  It has been this way since the beginning of time.  Our fight to protect the orphan, especially those children with special needs, is a noble endeavor but be prepared for adversity.  Use the adversity as an opportunity to become better.  It is a wonderful way to refine yourself and allow for personal growth as you fight for those who have no voice to their circumstances.  The result of children growing up in loving homes is well worth the battle.  And of course remember, that in the end, good always prevails over evil! 


Andrea said...

Glad you are having these good experiences in Peru honey! I miss you but know you need to be there!xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that Brady!