Huntsman Alumni Magazine Spring 2012

Spring 2012

Vision – Ron Dunford

Five Principles For Success

Ron Dunford President & COO of Operations, Schreiber Foods, Inc.

During my 30-year career in the dairy industry I have had a variety of assignments, including several leadership roles in operations, sales and marketing, and general management. Currently I am responsible for Schreiber Foods’ global operations, which include 27 facilities in the United States, Germany, Austria, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Uruguay. And as you may know, that also includes facilities in Logan and Smithfield. Schreiber is a $5 billion privately-held company that supplies process cheese, natural cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt to some of the largest customer brands in the world.

Throughout my career I have studied the topics of success and leadership extensively. I’m very interested in why some individuals and companies achieve greatness while others remain average. I’ve narrowed the list of “success principles” down to five principles that have worked well for me throughout my career. I have found them to be the keys to success, both in and out of business.

  1. Dream big You need to have the ability to dream big if you want to achieve great things. Figuring out your personal “Mt. Everest” will provide the roadmap for your future. Don’t let the future just happen ... create the future you want.
  2. Expect success Expect to succeed in everything you do. You won’t win every time, but with an attitude of winning you’ll be prepared for the obstacles and barriers that you will face. Expecting success is an attitude of “I will and I can”!
  3. Work smart Working smart is more about being effective than being efficient. It’s about understanding the value of time and prioritizing those things that matter most, then taking action.
  4. Play fair Winning is important but not winning at all costs. You don’t need to bend the rules in order to succeed, and don’t set yourself up for failure by doing things that can derail you if they are discovered. Integrity matters!
  5. Have fun Love what you do, and have balance in your life. It’s dangerous to not do what you love. The harsh truth is that if you don’t love what you’re doing, you’ll lose to someone who does. In my case, I’m passionate about work, success, leadership, family, skiing, and outdoor activities.

And Advice from “The Leadership Challenge”

I am also an enthusiastic member of The Leadership Challenge networking group of people who have read and embraced the excellent book of that same name by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. I recommend their book highly; it has sold more than one million copies in its 20-year history and has been translated into 12 languages. I have taken to heart their “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.”

  1. Model the way
  2. Inspire a shared vision
  3. Challenge the process
  4. Enable others to act
  5. Encourage the heart

Both the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” and my own five principles are simple but powerful. Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day, while failure is simply a few errors in judgment repeated every day. It is the cumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to success or mediocrity.