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Leader Lens: Cracking the Leadership Code

ByJoe Burns


When I graduated from high school in 2005, I decided that I was going to join the military. I was not sure what branch I wanted to join, but I knew that I wanted to serve my country. I ended up choosing to enlist in the United States Marine Corps because of the challenge. I wanted to prove to myself that I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to. Soon after, I was headed to basic training in sunny California.

It was here that I began to gain the basic leadership tools that eventually led me to where I am today at Standard Electric Supply Co. One of the most important tools that I have carried with me throughout life and as a leader is the ability to connect. It is my philosophy that the more your associates feel like they are heard, and that you care about them more than just as a worker, the harder they are going to work. They are going to stay the extra ten minutes without having to be asked. They are going to do things that aren’t normally in their job description. They are going to go the extra mile.

It is all about connecting with people. Every single person that I have ever worked with wants to feel heard and understood. Feeling like you care about them as a person and want to know who they are as an individual is important. I can honestly say that I care for every single individual that I work with. I want to know how they are doing, and I want them all to know that if there is ever anything that I can do to help, simply ask.

When I came to work for Standard Electric Supply in October of 2020, I had no real idea of what it meant to be a manager. It did not take me long to realize that it is all about getting a group of people to work together as a team to accomplish a given task. It is much like the military in that way: getting a group of young men and women together from all walks of life, and training and working hard. You become almost like a family; a group of people that you can count on and that you can lean on when things get tough.   

Through the good times and the bad, from coaching to the congratulating, all members of my team know that I am here for them and I will stand by them wherever they want to go in life. I will support every one of them with whatever they want to do, because I care, and I CONNECT.

Standard Electric Supply Co. is a family-owned distributor, built on delivering outstanding service. For over 100 years, Standard Electric has been the best at what they do; delivering top-quality products, outstanding service, and providing value-added services to customers across the Midwest. Visit to see how Standard Electric can become the solution to your needs.

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