Steve Riege, President of Ovation Leadership

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“Focus…I continued to focus on the identity of who I am, and where I best add value to my clients. As my focus brightened, my opportunities increased.”

What’s new at your company?

“The maturing of developing the concept of the Rare Leader. After several years of research, writing, and gaining feedback, I am close to finishing the details of the curriculum of the 12 competencies of the Rare Leader. And, a book on the topic is not far behind.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“Because of the growth in requests for some of the advisory consulting work, I do plan to add some carefully selected adjunct talent. I am delighted by the requests and interest from my clients, showing their commitment to their own growth, and desire to partner with me.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“My clients depend on me to help them sleep at night. Anticipating their challenges are both my opportunity and challenge. Maintaining my active knowledge of the forces impacting their business, the economy, regulatory changes, and then bringing forward the best business practice solutions for growth within the coming environment will continue to be a key challenge. But, I love answering the challenge.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“Beyond the typical challenges of surviving the economic, political, and business challenges of this new era, businesses have begun to realize the ‘war on talent’ I predicted a few years ago. While businesses have reorganized, merged, consolidated, and emerged ready to compete, the competition for top talent has never been more fierce. Identifying and protecting their top talent is critical. I find many businesses are ill prepared to focus on their key positions, to identify high potential rising stars, and to prepare development plans to predict their path to future loyalty. Many businesses are discovering they have little or no bench strength, and have no plans in place for improvement. Their life line for human capital is at risk of interruption from their rising stars being recruited away. Several of my clients have found this to be preventable.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“‘If you make great friends, great business will follow,’ I have used this mantra as fuel for 123@5, an open, free business networking event I host each quarter in Milwaukee.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“I have had the wonderful fortune of working side-by-side with extremely gifted and talented entrepreneurs, leaders, owners, and executives. Even as they consider me a key to their success, each day is filled with unbelievable opportunities for me to be tested, to learn, and to achieve greater success than I ever anticipated. I consider it an honor to be trusted by my clients.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“When I was 14, attending confirmation class, we were given the teaching gift of the ‘freedom to fail.’ My father further embodied this concept within me, encouraging me to try anything and everything, believing it is ok to stumble and fall and to pick myself up, and to try again until I succeed. I believe anything is possible, only if we give ourselves the chance to fail while trying.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?

“Since I have only a small paragraph…among the nominees, I hosted a top producers conference at a five-star resort. I had a historical habit of donning costumes for a fun skit, or presentation during the awards dinner. This particular year I decided to do my best impression of a certain game show host, complete with powder blue leisure suit, and curly ’70s wig, not realizing I would meet a woman there, who would become my wife.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I am a grandpa, a dad, a husband, and blessed with many wonderful friends. Together we enjoy music, hunting, golfing, bicycling, camping, traveling, cooking, and most of all…hanging out together.”

Steve Riege
President, Ovation Leadership
Industry: Business advisory and executive coaching services
Family: Married (Maryanne) with 5 children ages 23 to 33 years, and 3 grandsons

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