Chief Executive editors have interviewed dozens of CEOs this year, each with their own unique perspective and insights on leadership, managing growth and culture within their respective industries. As 2018 draws to a close, we’ve pulled together a short list of some of the most interesting conversations we’ve had with America’s business leaders this year:
Marks told us that she has learned the true value of collaboration and how it can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to solve complex challenges.
“I think I’ve really honed my collaboration muscle. And embracing diversity of thought, so that recognizing that everyone comes to a problem with a different approach, and if you can optimize the approach and drive collaboration, the end result actually is exponentially better than anything any individual could have done.”
Khan told us that he is a big fan of self-education, and that he watches 10 hours of YouTube videos each week to keep himself educated on leadership and other pertinent topics
“If anybody wants to be educated today, it’s not a big deal. Before you had to look for a school and mentor and you needed to be physically there. Now you can walk into your room and [access] anybody on any subject anywhere in the world.”
Crandall says that his leadership style really kicked into high gear once he realized that micromanagement just wasn’t the right approach for his organization.
“For me, the breakthrough was understanding that my real job was to put the right people in the position, and support them to make decisions and do the right things. And then in many ways, just get the heck out of their way and let them do their job and not try to micromanage.”
Donohue says that while most organizations pay lip service to putting the customer and their needs first, doing it correctly requires a deep commitment across all levels of the company.
“The strategy that we built Arbella on and we think has made it successful is that we really focus on giving both our customers and our agents what we call exceptional levels of service, not just kind of okay service or good service, but exceptional levels, being very committed to their best interest. To do that, you have to have employees that are very engaged.”
Pereda says that company culture is key a PW Power Systems, and that it’s up to him to make sure that his employees are engaged and informed.
“From an internal employee relationship perspective, I am very cognizant of the importance of our employee population, but I also want to make sure that they feel they’re engaged, that they feel that they are communicated with and that those who want to know more than just what they’re working on, that we have open communications and I can share that with them.”
Connors says that it’s imperative that business leaders lead the charge in the area of digital transformation, because soon it will be too late.
“The digitization of our economy is here, it is now, and the level and the speed and the urgency in which you pick it up for your enterprise will determine how successful you’re going to be five years from now. I believe that.”