A personal leadership philosophy is by its nature very personal and I offer this for whatever value it has for you. You should feel personal ownership in your firm and your success – these should be aligned. In many ways, you have the opportunity to shape what your organization is five years from now. Seize the opportunity. Remember that first and foremost, we exist to serve our customers. This view will ultimately add to shareholder value. With this in mind, we need to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and understand their needs. They are our lifeline. I believe that creativity, critical thinking, realism, discipline, a deep attention to detail and humility are the characteristics that drive success and will determine our legacy.
I believe that honesty and integrity should form the foundation for all of our actions and decisions. I admire people that are loyal and hard-working. I take my work seriously; however, I feel that we should and can have fun while doing our work. I believe that balance between our work and personal lives make us more productive. I also believe in open communication – people are more productive when information is shared.
People are an organization’s most important asset. Together we should all feel challenged, empowered, held accountable, and recognized for our accomplishments. I value those who take initiative – I’d rather work with someone who takes action, even if he or she makes a mistake. It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. I expect my colleagues to seek responsibility and be accountable for results. This leads to growth and personal fulfillment. Most notably, I believe in doing what’s right, rather than taking the easy path.
As a leader, I believe that I must stand behind and support my teammates. I expect that our leaders treat their people fairly. I believe that my job is to provide purpose, context, direction and the motivation that guides my team’s daily activities. My door is always open. You are free to discuss with me your concerns and ideas to change our organization to be better and more creative. Have the wherewithal to challenge me and your colleagues to perform better. Finally, do not tell me what you think I want to hear – I prefer brutal honesty.
In terms of day to day behavior, I expect people to adhere to a few simple guidelines:
- Don’t be late for meetings. It wastes time and money.
- Be present in meetings – don’t check emails. It is rude and unproductive. Unless there is a true emergency, anything can wait until after the meeting is over.
- Think before sending an email. Consider a phone call or in-person meeting instead; these can be more effective and more personal.
- When sending email, keep the “To” list relevant and try not using “Reply All”.
- I do not need to be copied on all emails. Copy me when you feel that I need to be informed or when you need to escalate something to me for a decision.
- I believe that “CYA” emails are self-serving and wasteful.
- We should not second-guess decisions. I encourage vigorous debate prior to making a decision, but revisiting the decision wastes time and money.
- We should work together without regard to borders. I do not tolerate turf battles. We are part of one team and I expect people to act like one team.
In conclusion, we should celebrate our achievements but never be completely satisfied. We must always question the norms and look for ways to improve. Remember that great leadership enables us to achieve great results. My success is our collective success and I feel that it is truly my privilege to be part of our team.