“Being the best accountant or technician is only half the story.” - Hiltrud Dorothea Werner.
I found this out the hard way when the first person I led in business called me an awful leader. I remember that sinking feeling.
She was totally right, and it was a huge wakeup call in my twenties. I did not focus on her as an individual or see my role in developing her. I was focussed on deadlines, targets and cleaning up.
After that incident, I took #leadershipdevelopment seriously.
The second time I was confronted with people skills was when I became the CPO of a financial services company. The CEO didn’t want me to run the people division like a controller.
I had to learn how to inspire a different team. I had to learn how to influence and take people along with me, who were motivated differently and cared about other drivers.
I had to learn about culture and its impact. Slowly but surely, I became an advocate and I now know the power of people skills and learning from my mistakes.
I am on a mission to define what great leadership is.
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