Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
James F Trocme
helps you in your leadership.
James F Trocme
Name: James F Trocme
Organisation: EDIC Consulting
A seasoned professional with global cross-cultural and industry experience in product management, product engineering and development, FinTech, banking automation, payments technologies, software, services, security, fraud risk management. He brings decades of experience in competitive and market intelligence for business development. He founded EDIC Consulting Limited, a business advisory company in 2016. He has also worked at Citi from 2013-2016 and Diebold Nixdorf from 1997-2013. He is a board member at Great Orion LLC a Private Equity Corporation. cofounder of eXchangeDirt.com. He now has also joined forces with points4purpose.com as their VP of Financial Services Industry.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
One of the biggest challenges I have found in any organization is to prioritize the actual priorities that align with the strategy or vision. It is not enough to have a list of tasks or goals; you need to rank them according to their importance and urgency to allocate the resources accordingly.
One must communicate clearly and concisely with team members and stakeholders about what role they play in the bigger picture and why their contribution matters. When someone says:" "Give me the big picture", they too often mean "I don't care about the details, only about what and when". But sometimes, the details, or the HOW are mission critical.
Like when you're trying to build a rocket, or a vaccine, or a cake. If you skip the details, you might end up with a disaster. A rocket that explodes, a vaccine that doesn't work, or a cake that tastes like cardboard. So don't be fooled by the big picture. always remember that small things matter.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I had good mentors at various stages of my career who taught me to pick battles that could be won, all while sticking to the facts. Staying professional and not backstabbing colleagues, and not taking credit for other peoples' work. I have found early on that this actually pays off, because you build trust and teams who trust their leaders and will work better because motivated and understanding of how they are contributing to the "Big Picture."
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
A realistic schedule is essential for productivity. Many calendars are filled with conflicting meetings and unreasonable hours that are not equally urgent. The key is to prioritize the most important tasks and avoid being busy multitasking excessively and thus distracted from accomplishing one's goals. You also need to know when to take breaks to sustain concentration and productivity. It is important to disconnect and think.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Leadership is a skill that requires many abilities, but one of the most important ones is communication. A good leader knows how to explain their vision, goals and strategies to others, and how to listen and understand their feedback, concerns and ideas. A good leader also knows how to adapt their communication style to different audiences, whether they are customers, employees, partners or investors. By communicating clearly and effectively, a leader can inspire trust, collaboration and innovation in their team and organization.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
One of the things that motivates me to keep exploring and learning is the power of ideas in books. I am not talking about any specific book, but rather the general themes and insights that books can offer. I find it fascinating how books can connect us with different perspectives and experiences across time and space. I especially enjoy reading books that relate historical events or concepts to contemporary or future issues. By doing so, I can learn from the past and imagine the future in new ways.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
To achieve success and fulfillment, you should avoid damaging your relationships, keep exploring new possibilities, and be truthful to yourself.
One of the most important skills in life is to never burn bridges with anyone. You never know when you might need someone's help or advice in the future, or when you might cross paths again. Burning bridges can also damage your reputation and credibility, and limit your opportunities and connections. Therefore, it is always better to maintain good relationships with everyone, even if you disagree or part ways.
Another essential skill is to stay curious and honest with yourself. Curiosity can help you learn new things, discover new possibilities, and expand your horizons. Honesty can help you face your challenges, overcome your weaknesses, and grow as a person. By being curious and honest with yourself, you can always keep improving and evolving.
These two skills can help you achieve your goals, fulfill your potential, and live a meaningful life. Never burning bridges and always staying curious and honest with yourself are the keys to success and happiness.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Doing what is right is often harder than going along. This is true in many situations, whether in life, at work, or in your community. Sometimes, we may face pressure from others to conform to their expectations, or we may fear the consequences of standing up for our values. However, doing what is right can also bring us many benefits, such as respect, integrity, and satisfaction.
I have had good bosses and not so good ones. In the latter cases do not shy away from doing what is right, even if it means going against the crowd or losing your job or walking away.
Doing what is right is not only good for ourselves, but also for the people around us and the society we live in and yes shareholder value too.