We Asked, and You Answered: What Makes a Strong Leader?


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What makes a strong leader?  

This is the question we asked ourselves as we set out to build structure into our August edition of PCB007 Magazine. What we found was surprisingand not so surprising at all. Our survey research confirmed that, when it comes to a leader, we want someone who has vision, charisma, and an uncanny ability to listen to others. 

And if you’re the leader, what qualities should you exhibit? What do you want from your staff? What are your expectations for your company during one of the most challenging economic situations of our time? 

We reached out to our readers through a leadership survey, asking questions about the primary role of a leader, qualities of a leader, challenges facing today’s leaders, and important leadership lessons you’ve learned. 

Interestingly, several who responded want a leader who will listen to them. At the same time, one of the most important lessons they have learned was to be a better listener. “Listen. Listen. Listen. You are never the smartest person in the room even if you’re the CEO,” said one respondent. 

We’re reminded of the story of Ed Catmull, who eventually was hired to run Pixar. From Success Mindsets by Ryan Gottfredson:  

“Catmull realized that if he wanted his groups and teams to be successful and meet the challenges associated with pushing the boundaries of technology, he needed to hire people smarter and more highly qualified than himself. In fact, in his first opportunity to lead an organization and assemble a team, one of the first people he interviewed was an already established leader with a sparkling resume: Alvy Ray Smith. Of this situation, Catmull admits, 'I had conflicting feelings when I met Alvy because, frankly, he seemed more qualified to lead the lab than I was. I can still remember the uneasiness in my gut, that instinctual twinge spurred by a potential threat: This, I thought, could be the guy who takes my job one day. I hired him anyway.'” 

Catmull overcame that fear and learned that the risk yielded the highest reward. “Always take a chance on better, even if it seems threatening,” he said. 

The I-Connect007 team is currently putting the finishing touches on the “Leadership” August 2020 issue of PCB007 Magazine. As you can see, we’ve uncovered some insight from inside and outside our industry. And thanks go to the survey respondents, who provided their own leadership by helping to direct and define the content of this upcoming issue.

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