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Carousel Industries Attracts Hundreds to Leadership Conference

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When Carousel Industries closed on its acquisition of Rhode Island neighbor Atrion Inc., last October, it opted to embrace the unique culture of Atrion, including its AlwaysOn Leadership Symposium. At the seventh annual AlwaysOn Leadership Symposium, held May 18, hundreds of attendees beat the heat at the Rhode Island Convention Center to learn how to become better leaders, create change in their organizations and positively impact their own lives.

More specifically, attendees, Carousel customers and technology partners — CEOs, COOs, CSOs, CIOs and vice presidents of marketing, sales, and operations, as well as IT directors and team directors and managers — learned about resilience, the theme for this year’s leadership theme.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Two keynote speakers, Daniel Rodriguez — decorated combat veteran, promise keeper and St. Louis Rams wide receiver — and spinal cord injury survivor Trent Theroux shared their amazing stories of overcoming challenges with resilience, perseverance, tenacity and grit.

“The thing about being resilient is that you don’t know if you are until you have to be,” Theroux said in his keynote, “Resilience Is a Reflex.”{ad}

Tim Hebert, CEO of Atrion, a Carousel Company, and a national speaker on thought leadership, kicked off the general session with a keynote on resilience, “The Art of Bending Without Breaking.” Prior to the Carousel acquisition, Hebert led Atrion for 20 years, was responsible for infusing a culture driven by purpose, core values and having a positive impact on the lives of others.

He talked about three archetypes that describe how people deal with adversity on a daily basis: the climber, the camper and the captive — or those who rise up, those who settle in and those who get stuck, respectively.

“It’s always a choice as a leader, which archetype you want to be and the same for your employees, which type they want to be,” Hebert said. And, he added the one you choose to be could be situational.  However, the archetype with the most success in life is the climber – 10 to 15 percent of people are natural climbers.

Hebert then pointed to the three ways that insure you move towards becoming a climber: face the brutal facts, have purpose and be agile, improvisational and innovative.

Rodriguez, an enlisted Army infantryman who by the age of 21…

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…finished two tours of duty — a 15-month deployment in Iraq and a 12-month tour in Afghanistan that included involvement in the Battle of Kamdesh on October 3, 2009, one of the bloodiest incidents in the Afghanistan conflict — captivated the audience with his story that included live action video of the battlefields of Afghanistan. A promise to a friend who died there (one of many friends lost) and other promises he kept to himself, helped him to be a climber. He is the author of “Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept.”{ad}

While we think of people being resilient, companies can also be resilient.

The leadership symposium also featured two afternoon breakout sessions: How to Attract and Retain Talent and Leading With Your Strengths. Attendees could also opt to participate in one of five  roundtable topics: Leading Change as an IT Leader, Navigating Your Career Inflection Point, Developing Your Personal Brand, How to Be an Effective Leader and The Art of Successful Communication.

Hebert led a second afternoon keynote session: “Grit: The Only Way Out Is Through,” before the After Partner at the Partner Expo event and book signing.


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