Kopis Core Value: Lead

Written by Ashley Brown 03/26/20


LEAD: The dictionary lists several different meanings of “LEAD”. Some are “cause a person to go with one while moving forward”, “be in charge”, “the initiative in an action for others to follow”, and “a position of advantage”. 

It took a little time for Kopis to begin its growth process and to transition to where we are today. This growth started with Andy Kurtz learning how to lead himself. When Kurtz saw a different future than his business partner did, he decided to split into two separate companies several years ago. This took confident leadership skills to make such a big and important decision, but the leading didn’t stop there. Accustomed to handling much of the company on his own, Kurtz  learned how to lead in a different way. He had to learn how to delegate and trust. This developed over time with the creation of a leadership team who has gained more and more responsibility over time. As this has occurred,  Kurtz has stepped back to focus on the big picture rather than miniscule day to day details. It takes a strong leader to know when to let go, and Kopis wouldn’t be where it is today without a leader/visionary like Andy Kurtz. 

One subtle aspect of leading is it implies more than one, or a team. Here at Kopis, we have a full team of people who know how to lead in their own way. Some are quiet leaders while others take charge more visibly such as project managers and members of our leadership team. However, one is not more valuable than another; all working pieces are crucial. To lead, one must know, and be confident, in where they are going. Confidence requires belief, and belief is enhanced by knowledge. So, all three are important to be able to lead. 

Everyone at Kopis is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable people in their fields. We all come from different backgrounds which only adds to our pool of knowledge. With different experiences comes the ability to look at problems in unique ways in order to come to the best solution. Sometimes, however, leading requires making a decision without complete certainty, and both moving steadily and confidently in that direction while being ready and willing to change if a better path becomes clear. 

While leading is never easy, it is much simpler when the path is clear yet it is most important when the path is more challenging. Often one leads by example, but sometimes one leads by enabling others to accomplish a challenging task. Sometimes one leads by taking a hard stand or pointing out unpopular details. Sometimes one leads simply by making a decision. 

We each must start by leading ourselves. However we can also lead each other, teams, projects, clients and customers, partners and vendors, management and community.

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