RONA: Building Strength

I recently had the honor of hearing Mr. Gilbert Nolasco, the Vice-President of Integration for RONA, Inc. speak at Manitoba Quality Network conference. RONA is the leading Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home improvement and gardening products. Mr. Nolasco’s topic was: Vision, Value and Coherence: The Essential Partners for Success.

RONA refers to itself as The How-to People. Many Canadian go to RONA for their home improvement projects yet Mr. Nolasco came to Manitoba from Montreal (in near blizzard-like conditions) to share his “how-to” use vision, values and coherence as partners for success.

One of Mr. Nolasco’s core messages was to stay focused and stay simple. This was a powerful message given RONA’s incredible expansion in the last 6 years – from 9,000 employees to 22,000 employees and from $1.2 billion in retail sales to $4.8 billion in retail sales.

One part of his presentation that related directly to the focus of this blog was his outline of strong leadership. RONA’s 5 key points for strong leadership are:
1. Set the goals
2. Show what is important
3. Give direction to the actions
4. Stay focused
5. Be available

Although there is nothing earth shattering about these key points I believe the strength resides beyond the articulation of the points to the day-to-day lived action on these points by the RONA leadership. They have given a solid home to these leadership strengths.

Remember Mr. Nolasco said to stay focused and keep it simple even while RONA was experiencing rapid growth as sales quadrupled in six years and the number of employees more than doubled.

Here are 4 leadership questions for you to answer:
1. What are my 5 keys to strong leadership?
2. Can I stay focused on these keys?
3. Can I make sure the points become lived actions?
4. Can I keep it simple while experiencing dramatic growth?

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