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Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, Not Me
United Parcel Service (UPS) is a household name that customers and investors alike hold in high regard. Who hasn’t been delighted by a right-on-time delivery, one of the 18 million UPS makes every day? Founded over a hundred years ago, UPS has moved steadily up the Fortune 500 while so many other corporations have disappeared. What’s the company’s secret?
Just ask a driver!
Ron Wallace was a UPS delivery driver for six years before he began rising through the ranks, ultimately becoming president of UPS International. In other companies, that might be extraordinary, but at UPS it’s par for the course. UPS has a unique corporate culture. It’s like a family. Package loaders call executives by their first names and vice versa. The company almost always promotes from within. Lifetime employment is common. Most employees own UPS stock. Wallace credits the company’s success – and his own – to its culture of “we, not me.” As he puts it, working at UPS gave him a PhD in teamwork.
Instead of writing a typical business memoir that celebrates the leader as celebrity, Wallace shares vivid stories that focus on the people he worked with, the challenges they overcame, and the simple principles and practices that make up the UPS way. He exhorts his readers to grow their people, not just their business plans. The leadership style described in this book is simple and direct—and it works. The straightforward and easy-to-understand lessons provide a blueprint for an individual or company to build on past successes and adapt to future challenges. This is a must-read for anyone aspiring to become a great leader.