Core Bank recently hosted a business breakfast and customer appreciation event, featuring Walter Scott, Jr. The event was attended by Core Bank’s commercial, healthcare and real estate customers and members of corporate partner of the bank, Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) Nebraska.
Laurie Baedke, Chief Brand Officer at Core Bank, moderated the Q+A with Mr. Scott, providing those in attendance a brief glimpse of his business brilliance.
”It was an honor to sit and learn from a business legend and community trustee like Mr. Scott,” said Baedke. “We’re deeply grateful for his generosity to share of that with our customers and partners at EO Nebraska.”
Walter spent his entire career at Peter Kiewit and Son’s, Inc, with the exception of service in the U.S. Air Force, and served as the Kiewit chairman and CEO from 1979 to 1998. At that time, the Level 3 subsidiary was spun off and he served as its board chairman until 2014. He still currently serves as a director of the company and as a director of Berkshire Hathaway, Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Valmont Industries. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Core Bank’s holding company.
While discussing the topic of leadership and lessons learned in his career, Walter stressed early on that integrity is crucial, and hiring those with this distinguished characteristic is a must.
“Hire someone who has integrity and always, always tells the truth,” said Scott.
He urged that employees must be truthful not only when it’s easy, but also when the truth is difficult to give. One of Walter’s additional lessons in managing talent was to be tolerant of employees who make mistakes.
“It means they are doing things,” Scott explained. “Just don’t let them get a PhD in mistakes.”
When looking back on his career, Walter pointed to goal-setting as a critical practice that he adopted early on in life. Consistently setting goals, measuring his progress and establishing new targets facilitated growth and achievement, and continues to influence his success to this date.
With the rare opportunity to gain valuable insight from one of Omaha’s greatest business leaders and philanthropists, attendees each took away particular pieces of wisdom for their businesses.
“Walter’s perspective on always protecting your business’ downside and letting the upside take care of itself is so simple, yet so true,” shared Jared Hollinger, President of Homebuyers Incorporated and Past President of EO Nebraska. “Very valuable advice in any business.”
Mr. Scott’s leadership extends beyond the business arena with his tremendous philanthropic support. He serves as the Chairman of Heritage Services, Omaha Zoological Society and Omaha Zoo Foundation. He is also a director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation, Omaha Development Foundation and Horatio Alger Association. When discussing his philanthropic impact, Walter shared the advice he frequently passed to his children.
“We have enough takers, be a giver,” advised Scott.
The Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation’s mission is to distribute funds for charitable purposes in the areas of civic, cultural, health, education and social services. He specifically counseled attendees on the importance of education as the infrastructure for any community to survive.
Walter closed the successful event by leaving this challenge to those in attendance, “Make life great – I’ve had a great one!”