“Knowing who you serve is the key to leadership,” said retired Brigadier General A.J. “Tony” Tata as he addressed local business leaders at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Leadership Series event held at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside on Thursday, September 22. “Who are you serving, why are you serving them, and what are you doing to lead them?”
After a brief welcome by Chamber CEO and President Bryan Stephens and a short introduction by Taylor Harrell, Executive Vice President for series presenting sponsor Southern Bank & Trust Company, Tata took the podium to deliver his presentation, “Lead Your Team Like The Army.”
As a best-selling author of six novels, former Chief Operating Officer of Washington D.C. Public Schools, and past North Carolina Secretary of Transportation, Tata has a great depth of experience to draw from as he lead the crowd through his resume as a leader. Weaving in stories that exemplified his service-based leadership style, Tata stressed the importance of being solution oriented and figuring out how to “pole vault over layers of bureaucracy to put yourself on the edge of your organization.”
In one such example, Tata reflected on how as Superintendent of the Wake County, North Carolina public school system (16th largest in the nation) he visited every school over the course of the school year. “Never underestimated the power of presence as a leader,” he reminded attendees, “and the power of a thank you.”
The next Leadership Series event, “The Political Landscape of Virginia and Beyond,” with Dr. Bob Holsworth, Founder & Director of DecideSmart, will be held on October 20, at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center.
Thank you to our sponsors: Southern Bank & Trust Company (Series Presenting Sponsor); Sinclair Communications (Media Sponsor); and Hit Play Mgmt (AV Sponsor).