2023 Congress Closing Keynote Address: Mack and Ria Story

2023 Congress Closing Keynote Address: Mack and Ria Story

We are thrilled to welcome Mack and Ria Story, co-founders of Top Story Leadership, to the Congress stage. The duo has published more than 30 books on personal growth and leadership development and created the Blue-Collar Leadership® brand, which focuses on engaging front-line workforce along with those who lead and support them. Their inspirational and actionable message, coupled with a dynamic and fun presentation style, is the perfect way to close out this year’s Congress.

Here’s a sneak peak of what to expect from their address. For their full message and how to implement it, be sure to attend their energizing keynote and register for Congress today!

“We want to motivate and inspire leaders to dive into the development of people and themselves.”

We spoke with Mack about his vision and what he hopes attendees will gain from the keynote address. It’s impossible to capture everything Mack and Ria have to offer in one blog post, but a key element is to “motivate and inspire leaders to dive into the development of people and themselves.”

“The people are the key. People who buy in the most are the ones who feel valued. Developing your people gives you a tremendous competitive advantage. It helps you retain and attract top talent.”

Respect for People is Mack’s focus — “It’s the people who sustain the gain.”

We discussed what makes Mack most excited about Lean. For him, it’s all about drawing in and developing the people — “helping people unleash their potential and helping them want to sustain the gain after improvements are made.

“So many organizations who do Lean focus on the process, the tools, and not the people. But it’s the people who sustain the gain. That’s the missing piece of the Lean puzzle for most people. It isn’t just focusing on the tools. It’s developing leadership and personal growth. True character development is the missing piece.

Leadership development equals character development — authentic influence, not artificial influence based on formal authority. Personal development is the basis of leadership development.”

Mack says to prime the pump, “Go slow to go fast. It’s mindset then skillset.” 

According to Mack, people must buy into their leader before they are willing to fully embrace and buy into the leader’s organizational mission and vision, and the right mind-set of the workforce is critical. When leading a week-long kaizen event, he believes in dedicating 20% of the week to personal and leadership development and that the key to accelerating change is buy-in.

“There needs to be a connection for a leader to be worth following. That’s priming the pump. I’ll discuss spending the first four hours on a Monday morning on leadership and personal development, setting the right mindset for the team. Then they can utilize their skillset and we can teach them the Lean toolset.”

It’s still the same principles at play but focused on the people. Get them ready for the continuous improvement.”

Mack and Ria will discuss how leadership is influence.

Mack and Ria will dive into embracing change and gaining influence. A key takeaway is that embracing change leads to influence and leverage, while resisting change decreases influence.

“Some people shine and some whine. Shining is embracing, leveraging, and leading change. Whining is resisting change. I’ll talk about getting people to embrace change vs resist change.”

The partnership between Mack and Ria strengthens their message.

Mack and Ria have been sharing their message since 2013 and they always speak together. They bring a dynamic, relatable, and irresistible energy to their presentations — “We come from different perspectives, toss it back and forth, and keep it interesting.”

Mack hopes attendees “gain some of my passion and energy to dig deeper into development of the people.” After speaking with Mack for just a short time, we’re confident that will be the case!

Don’t miss their presentation or any others — register for Congress today.