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Russ Kathrein

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Russ Kathrein is the President and CEO of Aurora, Ill.-based Alexander Lumber, which operates 12 locations throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Russ Kathrein Leaders

The power of personality inventories

As a long-time student on leadership, I find it fascinating that there is no definitive place where a person can learn how to be a good leader.

Making the ordinary extraordinary

How do you make a customer want to buy from a company that just delivers them building materials?
Russ Kathrein Leaders

Speaking their language

One of the most important aspects of selling something is to speak the language of your customers.
Russ Kathrein Leaders

The problem with not speaking up is that nobody hears you

How often have you seen somebody do something you disagreed with or found offensive, but then you let it go because you did not want to make a fuss?
Russ Kathrein Leaders

Empower your people

Often, we create rules for our employees to follow, but don’t empower them to do what is right, when clearly the rule was not intended for a certain circumstance.
Russ Kathrein Leaders

The dumbest person in the room

Our society encourages people to become leaders. It glamorizes how cool it is to be the person in charge, implying that with that responsibility one will instinctively know what needs to be done.
Russ Kathrein Leaders

When (doing) less is more

There is something satisfying about taking your time in order to do some things right.
Russ Kathrein Leaders

Beware of the ladder shakers

As leaders, we have to be on the lookout for the perpetual ladder shakers because they are toxic to your company’s culture.
Russ Kathrein Leaders

Being a leader for our industry

In April, I attended the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., for the first time. All I...
Russ Kathrein Leaders

The most powerful word in your vocabulary

During the building boom, I ran a region of a company that sold tens of millions of dollars to a national builder. One day,...

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