In my experience, I have had the opportunity to work at a very traditional company like CBS Television where it was a company that had been built since the early 1900s and grew but still was very old school. Then I joined a company like Google where it was just much more progressive. The culture there was just very different, and in looking back and evaluating both of those experiences, when I think about the best leaders that I learned from and those who have challenges that I learned from, it still boils down to a few skills:
Effective communication is at the top of the list. The ability to communicate with transparency at all levels is essential for any leader. Whether it's with your team members, senior executives, or stakeholders, clear communication enables you to build trust and foster a sense of collaboration.
Connection is another important trait. Building a connection with your team is crucial for fostering a sense of belonging and purpose. A leader must be able to create a sense of "why" for each individual, connecting their role and work to the larger picture.
Lastly, humility is crucial. An effective leader must be able to come to the table and admit when they don't know something, and be open to learning and growing alongside their team.
When I think about some of my leadership or the leaders that I've learned from, it is the ability to come to the table and say “Hey, I don't know everything, but here's what I do know,” or “Hey, we missed the mark on that deliverable or that project, and here's what I come to the table owning, and so here's what I need you to come to the table, and now we're all going to figure this out together.”
So, the combination of that communication, the connectivity, and the humility is really that recipe for success when I think about what I've seen from effective leaders. No matter the scale or culture of the company, these traits enable leaders to drive success and achieve their goals.
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