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50 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Forsythe: Correct. All businesses depend on people. We have people who make our prod- ucts, sell our products, and invent tomorrow's products, and all of them make a difference. If the organization isn't worried about their best interests and communicating that they are, those talented people are going to go find something else. Matties: In general, what attributes make a good leader? Forsythe: There are a lot of different flavors, and a couple of them tend to pay off. Empathy is important. Make sure you can understand what your team is dealing with; it's the inverse of the "ivory tower syndrome," which is well- documented, unfortunately. The key is to com- municate early and often. When people get stressed, most people's communication skills decline. If they're usually great at communi- cating, their skills will become average, and if their communication skills are typically not very good, they will be even worse in times of stress. You can't always be right, and you can't always be a fortune teller, but you can call it as you see it in the present. Hopefully, leaders are engaged in the industry so that they get the benefit of more than one point of view. Each of us has our own silos, operations, perspectives, and daily interchanges. When things get odd or weird, we spend a lot of time on the phone, reaching out to our friends and colleagues in the industry. "What have you heard? What do you know? What do you see?" We try to paint that picture to be a little more complete. That will allow for better decisions because you don't always have great informa- tion to make decisions, but more information makes for better decisions generally. Matties: What do you feel employees expect from leadership? Forsythe: The team is trying to perceive some of those things I talked about. Do they feel like the leadership has their best interests at heart? Do they worry about them? Sometimes, that's KYZEN leadership team pictured L to R: Erik Miller, VP Global Sales; Ram Wissel, VP Global Technology; Tom Forsythe, Executive VP; Kyle Doyel, President & CEO and Dr. Mike Bixenman, CTO & Executive VP.

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