Guest post by Julius Ekeroma, TMMBA 2014
He attended the MBA “Perspectives on Leadership” Speaker Series. The speaker was Phil Condit, former Chair and CEO of The Boeing Company.
Phil Condit was an absolutely excellent speaker tonight. He was asked to speak on the topic of communication and narrowed it down to a more specific topic: aggressive listening.
I heard a quote once before that said, “Behind every successful leader is a multiplicity of great mentors.” Phil truly was one of those inspirational leaders. One of the biggest issues Phil emphasized tonight is that top leaders fail due to their philosophy of “My way or no way at all.” Phil says a good leader is one that listens to his team and his people; takes in what they say and determines a plan of action. Under each leader are a whole slew of intelligent and talented people. If you don’t use their knowledge, there is no reason to hire them.
My key takeaways from tonight:
- If you have a big decision to make, use the pros and cons from the people to support your account. If you don’t involve your team in your big decisions, yet you hear their feedback, they’ll frown down upon you–to point of even losing their respect.
- Listen intently and interact with your speakers. Show them a sense that you care of their issues. Value who they are and they will do the same of you.
- Being a good listener is not a skill that comes naturally: it is a skill you have to think about.
- If you’re willing to listen to your people, they’ll start telling you things they normally wouldn’t tell anyone — good and bad.
- Kick yourself! Be an aggressive listener. Listen to the people and what they have to offer before you say, “Here’s our direction.” Every team has skilled people — as a leader, use them.
- Every great leader has a moral compass. Be sensitive to the people. As a leader, your job is the success of the enterprise, not your personal success.
Phil concluded that as a leader, once in a while you need to be alone and reflect on yourself as a leader. Reflect on how people perceive you as a leader. Are you leading in a good way or bad? Have you done your job well? Have you sincerely met the expectations of the people? Are you an effective leader?
The next speaker is Colleen Brown, CEO of Fisher Communications, on November 1. Learn more.