This Month’s Guru Column

Greg Smith, Greg Smith Leadership

Born and raised in Youngstown in an entrepreneurial family, Greg Smith learned about leadership from his grandfather and father’s stewardship of their family business.

Over the years, he watched them successfully manage a diverse workforce through good and bad economic times. Smith today serves as chairman of the board at Compco Industries in Columbiana, the steel products company his grandfather founded in 1954.

In 1996, Smith reluctantly attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit where he was introduced to John C. Maxwell, who became his friend, mentor and leadership teacher. This was when Smith fully realized he loved leadership, and this passion became his mission.

Today, he is devoted to studying leadership with a focus on public speaking. Smith understands true leaders must communicate clearly and persuasively if they hope to inspire great achievement.

In 2016, Smith launched two new enterprises to advance his personal interests in developing people and maximizing their personal talents in the workplace.

Greg Smith Leadership (gregsmithleadership.com) provides high-level training in public speaking in both group and individual settings. Smith also uses his skills as an engaging speaker and talented storyteller to provide motivational and keynote speaking services to companies and organizations on a variety of topics. These include talent utilization, team building and comebacks from failures.

Smith also founded Diamond Management Systems (diamondmanagementsystems.com), a business-solutions company offering three key products: the Greg Smith Pro-D, a cutting-edge mission/competency/style assessment; Team Align, an innovative performance appraisal tool that increases employee engagement at work; and StratOp, a comprehensive strategic planning process for business by the Paterson Center.

Smith earned an MBA in Executive Leadership from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and is planning on completing his doctoral study in Leadership at Regent University.

He is a founding Member of John C. Maxwell Team, has studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with Tony Robbins, Bill Thomason and Jonathan Altfeld, has developed public speaking expertise working alongside John Maxwell, Bo Eason, Roger Love, Jonathan Altfeld and Mary Kincaid, is a Gallup Organization Strengths Performance Coach and is one of a few TAI Certified Performance Development Coaches in the world.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Smith serves on the board of directors for the Bruce Lee Foundation and is a sixth degree black belt in Kenpo Martial Arts.

Smith resides in Poland with his wife and four children.

Business Paradox: Building Strength from Vulnerability

By any measure, Oprah Winfrey is phenomenally successful. She is a billionaire. She enjoys the adoration of millions of fans from her long-running, nationally syndicated talk show and owns a thriving media empire.

It’s all very impressive, especially when you consider where she came from. An African-American woman, born to a single mother in the deep South, who endured sexual abuse by two relatives and a family friend and became pregnant at 14, only to see that child die shortly after birth.

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