Leadership Breakfast of Maryland

Doors Open at 7:00 AM
Session: 7:30 AM to 8:45 AM. 
Feel free to stay and discuss the session until 9:30 AM.

Register Now
If you have any difficulties registering, please just send an email to: jacklgates@leadershipbreakfast.org and indicate your plans (attend or not), and your name and organization as you wish it to be shown on your name badge at the meeting.

March 6, 2015

Can We Lead Through Disruption and Innovation?

Consider these two scenarios - assume the role as leader of the organization – what would you do in each situation?

Your organization is a nation-wide travel agency with multiple offices in all major cities throughout the country before internet travel apps were available. The organization uses the Sabre System, which connects to many of the major airlines, to book airline tickets and you created an easy use and versatile front end program for the agents to use.

It is the 1990’s and Easy Sabre is now available to anyone with a ‘home computer’ to book airline flights. The home system is hard to use with many ordering errors by users, with no way to undo tickets except to take delivery and get a refund or credit from the airline – in around 45 days. While widely available, it is a horrible experience for many of the users.

As the leader, how would you position your organization in light of the newly available technology to the general public? Why?

You head up Kodak and in December 1975 Steven Sasson from the R&D department comes to you with a strange looking clunky device that takes pictures using ‘digital’ technology instead of film. The current business model for Kodak is provide all things photographic – cameras, film, chemicals, paper, and related items.

What would you do with this innovative device? Why?

Leading an organization during times of disruption and innovation truly challenges the leader to create a vision of what the future may hold and plan for it.

Our training for divining the future teaches us to analyze available historical data and project for the next quarter or year. Unfortunately the future has no historical data as yet and projections ranges from a Wild A?? Guess (WAG) to an Educated Guess – either way it’s a guess. What else can a leader rely on (or avoid) when making policy for the future?

In this interactive session, we’ll compare notes about experiences and outcomes from a leader’s perspective when facing disruption from market forces and the effect of innovation on our planning. Some breakthroughs are likely to occur!

Takeaways from the Session

  • Typical pattern-reaction to the disruption of business

  • Unexpected effects of innovation

  • Leadership lessons on disruption and innovation

About Our Facilitator:

    Jack Gates

Sales Lab    


Jack says technology is how we do things – not the things we do them with...those are just the tools. He develops new technology (the how) to get spectacular results using the latest tools (the things). In addition to working with clients to increase sales and improve operations, his assignments include strategic planning, acquisition assessment, fundraising strategy, executive mentoring, and general manager of a county club.

Jack’s experience as a CEO, Director, and Chairman includes the disposal of 3 organizations and leading 2 organizations that were the target for acquisition – mergers and acquisitions up close and personal. He initiated the establishment of the captioning industry association, served on the FCC Post 9/11 Emergency Communications Task Force, and is active working with students at his alma mater - The Smith School of the University of Maryland. He ran an international non-profit organization and has headed numerous boards and councils in business and community sectors.

Gates blogs frequently about evolutionary changes in business, leadership, and better communications. He routinely posts to Sales Labs Posts, , Open Source Leadership, as well as Through the Browser and numerous discussion groups. Distribution of Jack’s posts is typically 250,000+ readers – however, his post When Will We Get Back to Normal hit a distribution record of 1.3 million readers.

Jack founded and leads the Leadership Breakfast of Maryland, a membership group of experienced leaders - meeting monthly since 2008; led the National Captioning Institute – a $22 M organization – as President & CEO; had senior executive roles with Union Memorial Hospital, Towers Perrin, Watson-Wyatt, and PRC in entertainment, health care, human resources industries; and has hands-on experience in operations, human resources, finance, client development, association governance, and marketing/sales. He served on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Smith School and taught business and technology classes as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland for 8 years.

He is actively involved in several organizations providing intergenerational programs – activities bringing together individuals from older and younger generations to learn from each other and to expose each generation to the magnificence and accomplishments of the other generation. Jack served on the Board of Directors of Interages for over a decade, chaired the Strategic Planning Committee, and led its merger into the JCA, another non-profit with intergenerational programs. He is mentor and Board Advisor to the HOCHA Foundation, a start-up established in June 2014, which works with elderly participants to captured their life stories through reminiscing interviews by college students, creating a legacy memory book for the participant and their family.

Gates is with Sales Lab  as its COO and is active in numerous groups, such as DC Tech for start-ups and the Google technical user and developer group.

Jack earned a BS from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park and an MBA (Finance) from Southeastern University in Washington, DC.

He is a native Washingtonian and served in the U.S. Army in Viet Nam.

Contact Information

Jack Gates

Phone: 240-424-0843

Email: jack.gates@saleslabdc.com

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

Twitter: @jacklgates

Google+ Profile: +JackGates

Register Now

If you have any difficulties registering, please just send an email to: jacklgates@leadershipbreakfast.org and indicate your plans (attend or not), and your name and organization as you wish it to be shown on your name badge at the meeting.


The Conference Center at the Offices of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy, and Ecker, P.A.

12505 Park Potomac Avenue
6th Floor
Potomac, MD 20854
(I270 & Montrose Road)
Map & Directions

Our Gracious Host/Sponsor: Shulman Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.

Resolutionary Thinking

Focusing on solutions. Thinking creatively and tenaciously about outcomes. About what’s in your best interests. Getting matters resolved, so you can get on with what matters to you. That’s resolutionary thinking. And that’s made Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., one of the largest, most respected law firms in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

In 1972, Shulman Rogers was founded on a commitment to client service. Today, the firm’s roster of highly skilled attorneys and other dedicated staff members are all guided by that same commitment. A client-first approach. A smart, efficient practice. A relentless focus on problem solving. And an underlying compassion—for our clients and our community. It all adds up to resolutionary thinking. The kind of thinking you can count on from the people of Shulman Rogers.