Leading Blog






03.30.07

President and CEO = Head of Support

I appreciated Umpqua president and CEO Ray Davis' comment in his book, Leading for Growth concerning the true function of a leader:
If you’re a president or CEO or senior vice president, no doubt you worked hard to earn that position. And yes, your title gives you a certain amount of authority. But it doesn’t tell you what is really important—it doesn’t tell you what your job really is.

My title is president and CEO, and that’s the title I use when I’m out in public representing the company or when I’m on the phone talking about our quarterly results with Wall Street analysts. But when I’m talking to our people, I tell them to scratch out “President and CEO” on my business card and write in “Head of Support,” which is my real title in their eyes.
Leading for Growth
In practical terms:
Because things are moving so quickly, I can’t assume that the tools and support that worked yesterday will be sufficient today. I’m out there all the time, asking, “What is it you need?” It’s a constant. It’s the only way we can keep up with our own growth.
Davis says that support goes beyond just training and tools. The standard fare usually doesn’t get at what people need in a specific way in order to meet your goals. So you always need to be asking people directly what they need. This may mean you need to give different things to different people. The idea that you shouldn’t make individual exceptions “I think is dead wrong…. When people are exceptional, you must make exceptions for them.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:31 AM
| Comments (0) | Leadership



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