“The mindset of leaders, the way that leaders think and the people around them think defines an organisation’s fate.”
– Steve Vamos, non executive director, Telstra and Fletcher Building
This week Steve Vamos joins our podcast hosts Rob Stone and JV Douglas to share insights from his three decades of experience in leadership roles across companies including IBM, Apple, Microsoft and Ninemsn.
It’s important that leaders encourage feedback from their staff – and actually listen, says Steve. He remembers the first time he received feedback on his own management style”
“I thought I was really good, I thought I was a really great leader and someone I’d love to work for… and then I got this feedback which was awful.
“People working for me said that I was a control freak, that I used them as tools to get my job done. That I wasn’t particularly interested in them. I was shocked! I had no idea that was the way they saw me and that really shook me and woke me up. I remember talking to my wife about the fact that I had that feedback and she said, “well hallelujah… you’re getting the message!”” he recalls.
It’s imperative, says Steve, for business leaders to ask a lot of questions and listen openly to the answers. What’s more, managers must be careful about how they respond to the things they don’t like hearing. Two-way communication is important if you want to build trust and get buy-in from your employees.
“Stop thinking of yourself as a star player who has to have all the ideas and make all the big calls and create all the right outcomes on your own. You have to transition to being a head coach who is there define the strategy with your people, with your team.”
Small business resources:
- How to build a great small business team – Small Business Guide
- Workplace bullies and how not to be one – xero.com/blog
What would you like to hear?
Got a topic you’d like to hear discussed? Or a business expert you admire and would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments below!