A few times per year, I like to deviate from my expertise areas of diversity and career development and write about various events I attend that provide me general insight and inspiration. I especially enjoy hearing from successful senior leaders about their principles and advice in reaching their lofty leadership pinnacles. I attended such an event sponsored by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, “C-Suite Perspectives” with Jay Parker, President of North America for Lenovo, on February 26th.
Before delving into his principles for successful leadership, Jay provided an overview of Lenovo (link.) He shared that though Lenovo is not yet a household name like Apple, it is one of the fastest growing companies in North America in the technology sector, and provides smartphones and tablets as well as its better known Lenovo PC line. He shared that his goal as the Lenovo North American senior leader was to change this market recognition. Then after confessing what areas he was weak in as a leader, he shared his own critical success factors which can apply to any leader.
Jay shared three main themes with several points under each one:
1) There is a difference between a great performer and a potential leader. Good leaders:
• Know how to deal with ambiguity. They focus on solving problems and providing clear direction to their team.
• Communicate clearly, simply, effectively
• Are able to take charge, especially during difficult challenges
• Show strategic acumen
2) Good leaders effectively manage their organizations. Good leaders:
• Drive accountability and do not tolerate finger-pointing, especially when things are going poorly
• Have measurements that are aligned with responsibility
• Give people the freedom to both succeed and fail
• Recruit and select the very best people for their organization without rationalizing doing otherwise
3) Good leaders know how to manage themselves. They:
• Listen to others, realizing they are not always the smartest one in the room
• They are honest and candid, even when it is uncomfortable
• They achieve balance in their lives
• They enjoy themselves while facing the challenges of leadership
I appreciate all these words of wisdom from this successful leader, and look forward to the Raleigh Chamber’s next “C-Suite Perspectives” session on April 23 with Greg Scheu, president and CEO of global energy sector company ABB Inc. (Link for event info)
If you are in the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill area and would like more information on how you and your company can get involved with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (link), including membership benefits, contact Kim Niskey, (919)-360-8665, [email protected]