Huntsman Post

Would Abraham Lincoln have made a good corporate executive?

By Rob Goates

President Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to be a noble and great leader who shaped American history. He is not often looked to as an example of how to, however, be an effective plant manager or corporate executive.

Jerry Bussell

A former vice president of a Fortune 200 company, Jerry Bussell, has done extensive research on leadership and is sought after for his insights. He plans to use Abraham Lincoln as the role model for the type of leader that managers and executives should exemplify when he speaks at the Partners In Business Conference in Operational Excellence at Utah State University Sept. 28 – 29.
Mr. Bussell is a retired vice president of Medtronic, a company that develops and manufactures devices and therapies to treat more than 30 chronic diseases. Medtronic ENT was recognized as one of Industry Week's Best Plants in North America in 2002.  He will deliver a keynote speech exploring the type of leadership that is required of company to become a model of operational excellence.
Lean is a business philosophy championed by The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. The Shingo Prize is also an award the organization gives out each year to companies that it feels are doing the best job of implementing and exemplifying operational excellence principles.

The organization teaches the importance of respecting and listening to the people on the front lines who do the work, finding ways to eliminate waste and make operations more efficient. Mark Torrie, adjunct professor at USU, defines lean as the “maximization of customer value in an organization through the relentless elimination of waste.”
Mr. Bussell has been a leader in the Shingo organization for years and was recently the chair of its Board of Governors.
Kathy Miller, general manager for Parker Hannifin, a company that makes motion and control technologies, will also be a keynote speaker. Ms. Miller will speak on “Transformation of a Lean Enterprise – Parker Hannifin’s Lean Journey.”
Mike Stoecklein, director of network operations for the Thedacare Center For Healthcare Value, will also speak, and his presentation will focus on “Providing Value in Healthcare Through Lean Thinking – Hope That There’s Hope.” The Thedacare Center for Healthcare Value (Thedacare) is the largest healthcare provider and employer in Northeast Wisconsin.
The Operational Excellence Conference will be the first of a series of professional business seminars held by Partners In Business this year. Other featured conferences will focus on accounting, information technology, and principle-centered leadership.
Those interested in more information on Partners In Business or those wanting to register for the conference may visit its website at