Hubris & Humble Pie: Bill Pollard, Former ServiceMaster CEO, Shares How Peter Drucker Taught Him to Swallow His Pride

Excerpts from Pollard’s speech at the CVDL’s Senior Executive Roundtable, Sept. 16, 2010. More from this event can be found here.

You are looking at a very imperfect leader as it relates to servant leadership. As you are successful, you begin thinking you have the answers. You know how to do things: I mean, after all, here is your track record of success. And as your responsibility expands, there are trappings of leadership that even further support this.

The story I will tell you involves an experience I had with [leadership pioneer and management consultant] Peter Drucker in Japan. We were going there to hold a management seminar. ServiceMaster had a very fast growing business there, working with a Japanese partner, and obviously I started thinking about selling as well as the management seminar. I said, “Boy,that would be a great opportunity to get potential customers there.” So we encouraged our partner to come, and to invite existing and perspective customers.

The Case for Taking a Vacation

Amber Johnson is the CVDL's corporate relations advisor and a non-profit and small business communications specialist.

Are you taking a vacation this summer? If so, you may be doing something good for your heart. 

A research study looked at 12,000 men over nine years who were at high risk for coronary heart disease. Those who failed to take annual vacations had a 21 percent higher risk of death from all causes and were 32 percent more likely to die of a heart attack.

In women, taking two vacations a year makes you eight times less likely to suffer a heart attack than women who get around to a vacation every six years (or less). 

The Power of Positive Thinking (Or 'Why Negative Thoughts are No Good for Business')

Shannon Brown is a Ph.D. student at Benedictine University’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership (CVDL) and has served in leadership positions with Thomson Reuters and Tata Consultancy Services.  In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University where she teaches courses in leadership studies.

Early in my career I worked for a start-up organization. I recall that experience as the most creative, purposeful, engaging and enjoyable work in my life, although I never really knew why.  Until now.

Scientists and mathematicians have proven that the more positive we are, the more successful we are.  They’ve proven it works for teams in an organizational context, as well as for individuals and married couples.  In fact, there are mathematical equations that predict how mentally healthy an individual is, how likely a married couple is to last, or how “high performing” a work group will be, all based upon the individual, couple, or group’s level of positivity

Business & Sustainability Pioneer Stu Hart to Speak at Next CVDL Roundtable

The Center for Values-Driven Leadership (CVDL) has announced Stuart Hart as the keynote speaker at the CVDL’s next Senior Executive Roundtable on October 14th. 

Stuart Hart is one of the world's foremost speakers on corporate sustainability. Hart focuses on creating sustainable value -- growing profits, increasing competitive advantage, and generating growth -- through the pursuit of sustainability.
“We’re delighted to announce Stu Hart as our next keynote speaker,” says Amber Johnson, CVDL corporate relations advisor and Roundtable organizer. “Stu thinks about sustainability through the lens of creating value. He knows business leaders need a return on their investment, and his work shows the value of that investment.”
Hart sees sustainability as opening new market spaces. “That’s the bigger challenge,” he says. “Companies that are going to drive us toward a more sustainable world will realize the really big opportunities of the future.” 
Hart is the Samuel C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise and Professor of Management at Cornell University's Johnson School of Management. He is also Founder and President of Enterprise for a Sustainable World. His best-selling 2005 book, Capitalism at the Crossroads, was named as one of the top 50 books on sustainability of all-time.

Is My Company Responsible? Five Quick Questions to Assess Your Company’s CSR Health

Dave Smith is a Ph.D. student at Benedictine University’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership (CVDL) and has broad leadership experience including for-profit, non-profit, and military command.



Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is more than a buzzword; it’s a value for many of us as leaders.  In fact, research shows that companies who have active CSR strategies are perceived as more responsible, having better board oversight and employee training, and less corruption.  (Read more here.) 

Here are some quick thoughts on how to do a CSR Health Assessment of your organization. Not surprisingly, good CSR health starts with an honest look at your values.

The Coming Revolution in Health & Technology: Business Game-Changers

Amber Johnson is the CVDL's corporate relations advisor and a non-profit and small business communications specialist. 


Last weekend I made a startling discovery: my 18-month old daughter knows how to flip through the screens on my iPhone. This amazes me: the home computer was non-existent when I was born, and my daughter will never know a day when her life wasn’t entirely entwined in the digital world. 

Bob Johansen, a leadership futurist who has consulted with some of the world’s largest companies, would have a piece of advice for me: when it comes to technology, let your children mentor you.

Technology is changing the way we parent, but it’s even more rapidly changing the business world. Johansen says the developments of the next 10 years will leave old technologies in the dust. Leaders will need to adapt, flipping dilemmas (problems that have no solution) into opportunities.

At a recent CVDL event in downtown Chicago, Johansen shared some of his insights into the future with 70 business leaders. A world-renowned specialist in 10-year forecasting, Johansen identified three key trends for business leaders to understand:

1. Digital natives will think differently, and make very different futures. Johansen envisions a future where the interface between our physical and digital worlds happens seamlessly. Digital natives, he says, will expect technology at work to reflect this seamlessness because their video games have exposed them to tremendous graphics and computing power. Savvy leaders will look for opportunities to develop new technologies and to equip digital natives globally with the resources to shape their own futures.