Listen to this post!
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In this month’s Leadership Spotlight, we’re featuring Eric Lenning, an inspirational leader at Strategic. Devoted to Strategic’s core values—Respect, Responsibility and Reliability—Eric’s support and guidance drive his team and supports the company’s success. Learn how Eric blends his personal and professional interests into his leadership approach, fueling his dedication to his role.

In the early years of my career, leadership was not a part of my day-to-day responsibilities. I began my sales career at a high-end graphic packaging and paper company where I learned to sell emotion rather than just ink on paper. My role involved supplying retail displays and product packaging to well-known companies, requiring an understanding of graphics, branding, high-end printing, manufacturing and design. Collaborating with multiple departments, I developed strong communication and responsiveness skills. After that, I worked in business development for an independent design studio in Los Angeles. I learned how to develop a good working relationship in a highly specialized market.

My leadership journey truly began when I became the VP of a fire extinguisher company. I noticed a lack of structure and communication within the service team, which impacted the brand image and sales. To address this, I developed a framework for better communication and engagement, leading to a more cohesive team and increased sales. This experience highlighted the importance of a unified corporate mindset and set the stage for my leadership role at Strategic Sanitation Services. Here, I value supporting and guiding my team, fostering trust and encouraging personal growth through open communication and a strong culture.

My eclectic background has provided me with a broad understanding of how corporate culture impacts leadership and visa versa. I’ve learned leadership should be a supporting role to lift up and guide others. I am blessed to be in a company whose corporate culture is so widely and deeply established within Strategic’s team.

Time, communication and culture are the three values that guide my leadership approach. Being available when needed, whether to encourage or simply discuss what’s going on in life, helps keep communication open and genuine. While making time is always challenging, it’s essential for fostering a strong corporate culture that builds trust. Trust is everything, leading to sincere and honest communication. A quote I like to keep in mind is, “Culture eats plans for breakfast.” By prioritizing your culture, you enable difficult conversations early on, preventing small problems from growing into bigger issues later.

I’m a people person. Group achievements, whether on a committee or through volunteering at church or community events, reinforce my connection with life and remind me that we all have a purpose to fulfill. Don’t sit life out—reach out and be a part of it. I also love reading a wide variety of books to expand my understanding of people and the world. I usually have three to five books by my bed that I alternate between. New ideas provide strength and insight, and when appropriate, I share them with others who might benefit.

Encouraging my team when there are challenges and praising them for their successes helps foster an environment where the team wants to be and do their best. When our team achieves a goal, I get a rush seeing them enjoy the recognition of their achievement and being a part of something bigger than themselves. This fans the flames for each member to want to take on the next challenge.

We are thankful to have you as part of our leadership, Eric!

Share this post!

Send us a message

We look forward to speaking with you!