Guest op-ed: Why leadership is like a Dove ice-cream bar

You don’t know true excellence until you experience it!
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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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The topic of leadership is talked about, written and blogged about. Videos are made by professional speakers on the topic. Politicians refer to it and CEOs try to exemplify it. And many of us look for leaders in our everyday life. I have been around people I believe are good leaders and I have read and reviewed all kinds of information on this topic. Leadership is like a Dove chocolate ice cream bar, you know excellence when you experience it!
I hope to give you some thoughts on this topic so you can identify a real leader and also learn that you too are a leader when you practice these traits.


You can’t fake it. You need to know your topic and or be passionate about it. For instance, parents may be trying to lead their children. Yet with all the publications out there as good as they may be parents will still rely on passion or loving their children unconditionally as the authentic way to lead your family. In the corporate world, we believe we are seeing and learning from a leader, however we sometimes are being misled by a self serving individual or team.
Check out Adam Grant’s new book “Give and Take” for a fascinating study. Which contrasts the so called leadership styles of Ken Lay of Enron fame vs. business executive Jon Huntsman Sr. (It has something to do with the pictures in the company annual reports)


Definitely connected to authenticity. Integrity is the conscious thoughts and actions we take in order to be the leader of a family, group or team. If being completely honest in all dealings is the default setting in our minds, we will always say and do the right thing for the long run. Important to note that I mentioned the long run. When a supervisor will not ship a defective product, when an auditor reports a deceptive practice, when a sales person suggests a better option to a customer, even in the face of objections from others, that’s integrity.

Leaders go first.

When we study successful organizations, profit and nonprofits, we find the senior members of those organizations are always giving first. They step out of their offices to meet and greet, they suggest changes that are good and healthy for their teams and their constituents. Sheryl Sandberg in her book “Lean In —Women, Work and The Will to Lead”, talks about when she was pregnant with her first child when she was employed at Google. She felt future moms should have access to parking spots closer to the building. She took action, leaders go first. To be clear that does not mean the leader needs to have all the answers. As a matter of fact the leader should go first by asking for feedback from the team and encouraging others to contribute to the discussion.

Leaders help all of us make a difference.

The recent events at the Boston Marathon have shown us many examples of leadership. In addition to the leaders we saw on TV, how about the guy that ran to the rescue of a woman who had fallen down from both exhaustion and fear from what she was seeing ahead of her. This person wrapped his Boston Red Sox jacket around her to keep her warm.
When she tried to give the jacket back he told her to keep it to stay warm. This woman was from Philadelphia and she attended a Phillies game with that Boston Red Sox jacket on. She wanted to recognize this person, a Leader, for his kindness. We don’t need a title to be a leader. The volunteers at a church breakfast are leaders. They are setting an example for their families and their community. It is important to contribute, to go first, to be authentic by helping out. My good friend Mark Sanborn has a best-selling book “The Fred Factor” where he describes people who go first, have integrity and are authentic as “Freds.” Fred Shay is his mailman. Fred does such an outstanding job delivering mail that Mark has made him famous. Fred Shay and others like him are leaders in the sense that they show us we all make a difference. We can be a positive leader or be a downer, we decide what difference we want to make.

Leaders make sure we know why.

This may be the cornerstone of great leadership. Back to the family, explaining why we want our children or family members to do something may be a real challenge! However in almost all other venues, it is always important for us to know why we are working toward the agreed upon goal. Understanding why will inspire us to take action. And often money is not the why. This surprise you? Next time we will explore the importance of why.

Marty Wolff is the president of Marty Wolff Business Solutions, a sales, marketing and leadership development consulting company. He is also the host of the Business Builders Radio Show. Phone (570) 871.0144. Email: or visit www. or

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