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Leading Consciously

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I sat next to a high energy, charismatic leader at lunch at the Conscious Capitalism conference. When she told me she was speaking in a breakout session, I immediately switched the session I was attending to hers. Her name is Jean Pitzo, CEO at ACE Metal Crafts Company.

During Jean’s session, she told a number of stories about the business’ growth: after working for her father at ACE for several years, he decided to move to Florida in 1989 and asked her to run the business. She’s been CEO ever since. After 9/11, their toughest time financially as a company, they painted the walls… because they didn’t have anything else to do. They also took advantage of this moment in their history to implement lean manufacturing principles, which set them up for success once business returned.

She also spoke about her own personal growth as a leader. She was one of the earliest proponents of conscious capitalism – before it had a name – and has led based on those principles for years. With some trepidation, she asked her executive team to read a few books that inspired her way of thinking, even though some of them had elements of spirituality. While there was some laughter about “transformation by book club,” Jean will often recommend and then read books together with her team in the name of personal and professional growth. And, she told the audience, “The company will only grow to the level the CEO has grown personally.”

I was really inspired by Jean’s honesty and authenticity, and she had me thinking twice about some talent management beliefs I’ve held for years. Mostly, Jean impressed upon me the importance of sharing your growth with your team. This summer we’re voting on a few books we’ll read together. Want to be a part of it? Let me know and I’ll happily include you in the discussion.

Questions? Comments? Want to discuss further? Email me at

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