#65: Mission-Driven Leadership with Dean Wegner

Dean Wegner graduated from West Point in 1993 and served 7 years in the Army as a helicopter pilot and Army Ranger. After the Army, the majority of Dean’s business career was spent in business development, marketing, and strategy with Procter & Gamble and Mars. In 2017, Dean founded Authentically American, a Veteran owned, American made premium apparel brand.

Dean is active in his church and serves on the board of several for-profit and non-profit companies and organizations. Dean and Authentically American are riding a wave of national media exposure having been featured in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, FOX News, MSNBC, Nasdaq, Newsmax TV, and SiriusXM Radio.

Dean and his bride Kelly have been married for 29 years and they have 4 children, with the youngest being adopted from Ethiopia.

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. Get to the point. Your mission statement and sentiment aren’t nice to have. Top talent and customers are looking to work with organizations they find meaningful. Emphasize the point your organization exists and distill this into a clear and compelling mission.
  2. Get real. If your mission statement is only going to amount to empty words, don’t bother taking the time to create it. Make sure your mission is authentic, tangible, and apparent in all that you do.
  3. Share the wealth. Manifesting and reinforcing an organization’s mission isn’t the sole responsibility of the CEO or the executive team. Leaders at every level honor the mission through their decisions, attitude, and actions.

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From the Source

“One of the recruiting posters they sent me at West Point said ‘Much of the history we teach was made by people we taught’ and had pictures of Eisenhower and Grant and Lee, and that really struck home. Just thinking, ‘Wow. I'm walking through the same hallowed halls as former presidents and generals.’”

“As I built this vision over five years, it was really grounded in ‘How do we change an industry? How do we make a difference?’”

“You want it to be real. You just don't want it to be those nice, fancy, pretty posters on the wall.”

“How can you take the context of your current business, your product, or service, and see how you can go ahead and think creatively? Because especially in today's digital age with social media, the power of story, the power of giving back is so impactful.”

“I think the way to [reinforce mission] is not start from the top. I think you turn that pyramid upside down and you say, ‘You know what?’—whether you get a focus group or you have a big town hall, I think you really start to have discussions with your team, with your employees, and understand—‘What is really our culture all about? What do our employees really value?’”

Connect with Dean

Website: http://www.authenticallyamerican.us

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deanwegner93/