Former chief executive speaks on leadership

By Kris Genther
October 16, 2008

“There are no born leaders,” Robert Pucci, former chief executive at the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, said. Rather ,”leadership comes from doing the right thing when the opportunity arises.”

Pucci has had 29 years of leadership, spending many of them at the Main Line Federal Savings Bank, where he served as the chief executive officer. He was also CEO of Main Line Chamber Foundation, a charitable non-profit organization started in 2001.

Cabrini had the opportunity to bring Pucci in to speak on just that topic, leadership. After 30 years in the banking community, Pucci has amassed a vast amount of knowledge pertaining to leadership and the stories to prove it.

Having grown up in a blue-collar family, becoming the CEO of a bank was never something he foresaw for himself, but as he explains, he found himself in that opportunity and simply made the best of it.

Having found himself in these positions all his life, he is now able to pass this information on to the younger generations. During his lecture he presented what he has learned throughout his time spent in the banking industry and elsewhere to the people seated in the mansion.

Pucci spoke from the heart about his ability to lead and how he went about developing those leadership traits. More importantly though, he spoke about how everyone else has the ability to do just as he did.

“The distance between college and what you do for a living is rarely a straight line,” Pucci said. The trials and tribulations will come, he admits, but “you must be able to handle them and make good decisions.”

The main objective of the lecture was to help people understand what leadership is, and to make it clear that “leadership is needed in every aspect of life.”

As the president of Main Line Commerce, he had to deal with his share of issues and people, yet he stressed that leadership is about development and surrounding yourself with good people, people whom you can trust. Pucci believed that “when you get the right mixture of people, leadership happens.”

This outlook on leadership has helped him to excel in whatever position he has found himself in. It is his belief that by being in many different situation that required leaders, he was able to develop his leadership abilities to the extent that they are today. Development is key as he stresses that “Leadership abilities are developed, not inherent.”

Members of the audience asked him for help with leadership issues in their everyday lives, and Pucci was willing to provide advice.

“Leadership opportunities are presented to you in everyday activities,” Pucci said, trying to illustrate just how many ways one can become a leader and make a difference in the community.

Kris Genther

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