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Leadership Summit offers unique learning experience

Dec. 16, 2005

With an inside track of information from John Aden, president of Mac Tools, Abilene Christian University College of Business and Administration students learned how to implement Aden's "Leadership Operating Values" in multiple workplace scenarios.

Along with Aden, 81 juniors and seniors and 13 other speakers wrapped up ACU's Leadership Summit in Frontier Ranch, Colo., on Monday. The summit consisted of unique and challenging learning opportunities in an alternative environment with business men and women from around the globe.

Aden became president of Mac Tools in June 2000, and since then, company officials have described him as bringing new life to the company through determination and charismatic leadership, helping Mac Tools evolve into a smart and healthy company.

In 2003, Aden introduced Mac Tools to Leadership Operating Values—a set of principles that create a workplace free of negative politics.

"It is important to foster an environment which enables ordinary people to do extraordinary things," said Aden. "It is amazing to see the accomplishments that can be achieved when you work by the values that you live with."

Core values are focused on within Mac Tools, though none are actually written out, but seen throughout the company by the way employees interact with customers, Aden said.   

One program reflective of these values is the Customers for Life program that bases employee-customer relationships on lifelong friendship standards. Employees at Mac Tools treat customers like they want to be friends with them for life, Aden said.    

For the past five years, he has been committed to increasing the company's success from a business perspective as well as increasing brand awareness through motor sports and motor sports events. Mac Tools now sponsors championship teams in the Nextel Cup, Busch Grand Nationals and the National Hot Rod Association. 

Along with team sponsorships, Mac Tools also holds two NHRA event titles, and with Aden’s help secured the title rights for the US Nationals.   

"In the sessions he led, John Aden really focused on leading through Christ and leaning on Christ to make decisions in the workplace," said Kyle Miller, senior accounting and finance major from Pflugerville. "He encouraged us to live our lives out loud by letting our actions speak in the workplace. He is really turning Mac Tools around with the Christian values he is using to lead the company."

Through teaching sessions, films, guided periods of reflection and journaling, small group discussion and question and answer sessions, Leadership Summit has been designed as more than a course. The faculty describes it as "an expedition of the soul." 

While designed primarily for juniors and seniors completing coursework at ACU’s College of Business Administration, Leadership Summit affects participants in many ways.

"Leadership Summit is a unique and powerful event that engages individuals in times of reflection, challenge and calling," said Dr. Richard S. Lytle, dean of the College of Business Administration and organizer of Leadership Summit. "Each year, God reveals new visions and dreams for each of us through dynamic speakers, case studies, and times of worship. It is, indeed, a yearly spiritual summit."

For more information about Leadership Summit, visit http://www.acu.edu/academics/coba/programs/summit.html, or call 325-674-2565.

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