Adam Bryant is on my list of people I would like to meet. He writes the Corner Office column in the Sunday Business section of the New York Times. Each week, he prints excerpts from interviews with CEOs about leadership, lessons learned, hiring, firing, and creating corporate culture. The format is Q&A, there is always a picture of the person being interviewed and it takes about five minutes to read. Many quirky and personal leadership stories are told. I would describe it as People Magazine meets Business Week. I recommend adding this to your Sunday morning ritual.
It seems to me that effective leaders are just like great public speakers; they completely adapt their personal style to their advantage. While all are successful, some like informal meetings, some like formal meetings, some delegate hiring, others are very involved in the process. Some have learned their business from years of inside promotions and some have moved laterally from other fields. All of their successes and failures are integrated into their leadership style and what they share (it seems to me) is a confidence and comfort with their style. No cookie cutter mentality for these leaders.
Julie Greenwald is the CEO of Atlantic Records. In her February 6 interview, she said, “It is important for everyone to understand we’re a company where risk-taking is necessary. I know it is not easy sometimes. I hate public speaking. The only way I conquered it was being put on the spot all the time. In order to lead, you have to be a public speaker…” We agree and would add that in today’s market all professionals -not just CEOs- have a responsibility to find and develop their own public speaking voice. It’s not always easy, but it’s work no one ever regrets doing.
P.S. Other people on my list to meet (dead or alive): Bette Midler, Nancy Franklin, Mark Twain and Aimee Bender