Swift Energy and Cary Stockdell – Making a Difference with People

From time to time, we enjoy telling the world about the great success of a Luman International client, and in particular how their application of key leadership principles has made a huge difference in their performance and results.  Here we’d like to give a shout out to Swift Energy, a U.S. energy company based in Houston, and to its driver of organizational development, Cary Stockdell. 

In honor of Cary’s work since joining Swift in 2007, he was recently declared “HR Leader of the Year (company size 0-1,000)” at Houston’s 7th Annual Impact Awards Ceremony.  Given the size and diversity of the Houston business community, this is an outstanding achievement by Cary.  After working with him since 2007, we can add that it was well deserved.

His biography in the award program said that Cary has “played a strategic role and has a seat at the management table.  Cary is a trusted advisor of the executive leadership team and serves as a mentor to many up and coming staff.  He is setting the standards for a top-tier training and development program.  Cary has helped grow the leadership of a compoany that has been in existence for over 30 years, something not common for the Oil and Gass industry.  He helped to make a team out of a group of people, impacting the company’s success.”

We have had the pleasure of working with Cary since 2007 in his efforts to take a long-standing, successful company to the next level.  He is never comfortable with the status quo, and immediately began challenging executive leadership, senior leadership, and team members to learn and apply new principles and practices.  All too rarely for someone in his role, he quickly became a trusted advisor to executive leadership.  He used that position to move people out of a comfort zone and into a “collaboration for excellence” zone.  He outlined a “Road to the Future” that was thoroughly embraced by leadership at all levels, and as time passed by team members at all levels.  He led the charge in helping a fine group of professionals turn themselves into an even finer team.

We have been most pleased with the terrific progress made by the Swift team.  They have absorbed new leadership thinking, principles, and practices and have turned them into a deeper sense of commitment and a higher level of results.  They created a fresh VMVB (Vision, Mission, Values and Behaviors) to focus the organization and prepare it for future growth and opportunities, and are working hard to live it.  The executive leadership team – Terry Swift, Bruce Vincent, Alton Heckaman, Bob Banks – have been fearless in allowing us to assess their progress (quantitatively and qualitatively), and then in facing and embracing the truth, and then in taking actions to improve. 

Change is always hard, but Swift and Cary have made change a valuable component of their success.  The Luman principle is that “Either you’re exploiting change, or change is exploiting you.”  This great group-turned-team is now in the business of exploiting change.  We call our leadership program the Diamond of Excellence, and 5 years of passionate, hard work by the people at Swift has advanced them to a Diamond of Excellence level.

Congratulations to Swift Energy and to Cary Stockdell for their remarkable achievments.  It couldn’t happen to a better team.

Note: Italicized terms are trademarked property of Luman International.  All rights reserved.


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