The first cohort of the Emerging Leaders Program in 2017.

Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti once said, “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” That’s as true in the distribution industry as it is in racing.

Graybar Chairman, President and CEO Kathy Mazzarella takes this idea a step further. “If we intend to remain relevant in a world that’s being disrupted, we must not be complacent. We must disrupt ourselves; otherwise, we will be disrupted by others and lose our leadership position in the industry.”

The Graybar Emerging Leaders Program is one way we work to stay at the top of our game. The program is designed to help up-and-coming employees understand what it means to take on a leadership role at Graybar. Retreats, homework in all areas of the business, mentorships and quarterly webinars are all important parts of the curriculum.

The second cohort of the Emerging Leaders Program visited St. Louis in October 2019.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people with incredible insights,” one recent participant said. “We’ve had hands-on team-building experiences, discussed the struggles of management, learned how our industry is changing and how that affects the company and heard what leadership means to our senior leaders. I personally feel more confident in taking a leadership role in my future because of those experiences.”

Business challenges are coming at the speed of light. Graybar employees can play a role in meeting those challenges head-on.

“We must equip our employees, our industry and our communities with the tools and the skills that they will need–10, 15, 20 years from now–to deal with new challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities,” Mazzarella said.