Lessons in Leadership

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“Preparing young people of promise for the future” is one of Ed’s passions. For almost a decade, PBP has offered top college students a valuable paid Internship opportunity; Real jobs, Real experience. One of the most unique aspects of the annual summer program is the Interns’ access to top management, especially Ed himself.

Each year Ed hosts an informal luncheon meeting at PBP headquarters for the Intern cohort. He candidly shares his personal story, then invites the Interns to ask as many questions as they can.

The Interns eagerly await this event, and take full advantage of the Q&A. They understand how important honest insight into the vision, challenges, failures, recoveries and achievements of successful leaders can be in their development.

PBP’s Interns shared their key takeaways from this year’s CEO luncheon this week. Just the few comments below do a good job of summing up Ed’s impact.

Emilie Aarons, interning in the Webinar Division, said: “By telling his own success story, Ed made us feel as though we could also turn our dreams into realities.”

“My favorite quote from Ed by far was ‘Be your own CEO in your life’. It was one that really spoke to me personally and made me question how good of a job I was doing in terms of being my own CEO. In other words it made me take a step back and reevaluate how well of a job I was doing in regards to ensuring I was headed on the right path, my actions matched up with achieving my goals whether short term or long, and that I was going about everything in a purposeful and self-fulfilling manner” reflected Kal McCoskey, interning in PBP Media as well as the Executive Reports Division.

Meredith Veit from Executive Education & Training observed: “It was refreshing to hear Ed talk about authenticity, proving that hard work and mental perseverance can inspire success. The ‘fake it until you make it’ mentality has plagued the business world for far too long, and he is an example of how we can be better than that.”

Her take-away was mirrored by Chris Mathewson from Product Marketing, who commented: “I thought the lunch with Ed Satell was truly a great experience. Learning how Ed founded the company and the journey he took to get there was truly inspiring and proves that hard work can result in success.”

Final proof that his lessons in leadership reverberate with these young people of promise can be found in the reflection by Julia Scavicchio, a recent honors graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, who shared: “I asked Ed Satell what it takes to be a good leader and he told me this: ‘Don’t be cynical, focus on the positive by maximizing the values in yourself and others. It takes time to be a leader— you need to be a follower first. Ego is a good thing, but don’t let it shadow the wants and needs of others. You have to be able to take the rotten tomatoes when people throw them. Most of all: be authentic. Accept the superficiality, it can be a good thing, but know when to focus on the real, so make an environment to address real thoughts’. Julia added: “I really understand his point that it’s necessary to have an environment where people can openly discuss real problems, and without it, it’s difficult to get beyond the superficiality of someone’s personality and to the real ideas in their head. It takes authenticity to gain someone’s trust in that way.”

The Interns all asked to thank Ed for his and honesty in speaking to them. Several mentioned how they now appreciated “authenticity” as an important characteristic of leadership, and how they recognize Ed is genuinely authentic.