We are so excited to have Leadership Development Coach Tony Torres as one of our presenters for this year’s class. He has been an employee for State Farm for the past thirty-three years, originally in accounting in formal leadership and analyst roles. For the last fifteen years, however, he has been involved with Learning and Development, with a focus on leadership development. He chose this career change after he worked with the department and developed a passion for collaborating with people on building and honing their strengths; he loves to see those he serves flourish in their environment.
Tony’s definition of leadership is “inspiring people to be best,” to find the strength already inside someone and cultivate that to benefit their environment. Ways to be a leader, Tony says, include listening to others, learning their passions, and employing that passion to bring out the best in them. One way to discover what you are passionate about is to find an area in your life whether that be work or somewhere else that brings you satisfaction. An approach to finding and sustaining satisfaction, in Tony’s personal experience, is to embrace variety, to challenge yourself, and to feel that what you are doing is valued by someone else.
Ultimately, leadership is connecting people with people. Being a leader is not necessarily handing out tasks but creating a relationship with those you work with in which they feel valued. Leaders create an environment of growth rather than boundaries, of challenge rather than routine, and inspire people to be the best that they can be.