Leadership is certainly a personal thing but there seem to be some common guidelines that top leaders follow.
Two leaders who I follow are Jason Goodall (Dimension Data) and Barmak Meftah (AT&T CyberSecurity). They have both recently featured in podcasts (below) which covered this topic. They are both leading multinational, distributed teams.
The common theme is to create a culture and, as Barmak says, the ‘proactive management of culture’ is really vital.
Jason is looking to create an environment where people can lead but in both cases, they are looking to equip the employees with the right skills, knowledge, infrastructure and experience to lead in their specific field.
Jason wants to "let them go out there and make decisions and feel empowered to run Dimension Data in whatever role and capacity they have”.
As someone in sales, this really resonates since any (good) sales person will always be looking to positively move their deals forward and if the leadership is empowering through design then it enables the firm to move far quicker and more efficiently.
What does someone in sales need empowering on? Here are a few thoughts...
- Being prepared and informed about the market and the problems clients face
- Ability to easily leverage the knowledge from across their organisation to move relationships and deals forward
- Request or create timely, highly relevant and expert content to meet needs of the client (prospect and existing)
In this episode, Barmak discusses product-market fit, go-to-market strategies, and how to beat incumbents in the enterprise space. AlienVault was recently acquired by AT&T. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but as shareholders, GGV Capital is very excited about this outcome.