Thank you to the 1,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading
7 Questions with Terrie Anderson
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Terrie Anderson
Name: Terrie Anderson
Current title: Non Executive Director
Current organisation: Stewart Manning
Terrie Anderson is considered a Thought Leader in Enterprise Digital Leadership and Cyber Security Strategy, a futurist who is passionate about the benefits of IT/OT convergence and effective Workplace of the Future as business differentiators. She believes passionately in the need for disruptive strategies, especially digital, for companies wishing to thrive beyond 2021.
She has extensive senior leadership experience, and outstanding track record in building businesses in Enterprise Solutions and Software.Terrie is considered a trusted adviser to many Board Members and Digital Leaders globally.
She is the author of One Minute More - The Human Connection; 999 Legendary Selling for the 21st Century - and many more books and articles.
People are Terrie's passion, and she believes great human talent is undervalued by many organisations. She loves adventure travel and philosophy, and is partial to a great wine and a large motorbike, but not at the same time!
1. What have you found most challenging as a board member?
Balancing the desire to become too involved with improving the operational aspects with the hands off more objective position of Chair or Non Executive Director.
2. How did you become a board member? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have been on and off boards as both Executive and Non Executive Director since I was 35 and was hired into my first Exec Director role. When I became more committed to the future of a Board career I decided to learn by donating time for NFP boards. My first one proved to be way more challenging than I expected and it was a baptism of fire. I seem to have easily fit now into the role of Chair, as leadership just seems to be something I find myself competent at and comfortable doing.
Making that decision to want to join a board, and making the commitment to learning is critical as Board members today are very accountable.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I try to have breakfast with my family every morning, taking time to savour those moments. I have always preplanned my start to the day. Every evening my last action is to review my agenda, ensure I am prepared and then I can comfortably flick the switch back to give my family and personal agenda quality time.
My days are erratic as my roles are global, so forward planning keeps me on track to deliver outcomes whilst minimising stress levels.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Every year is filled with new learning in leadership, and every generation entering the workforce is very different. Being a leader through the Covid pandemic has brought new challenges, and great insights, I have learnt to be more tolerant and patient and open to new ideas to lead people through this dark period. I have been privileged to also learn from some truly great leaders who stepped up this past year
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a organisation?
Never be afraid to ask questions about anything, and to challenge management if you are not comfortable with the narrative.
Ensure someone on the Board really understands risk and compliance for your industry and has a voice. Never punish or ignore whistleblowers - if the Board is open to hearing truth - then whistleblowing isn’t necessary.
Above all do not let fear of judgement stop you challenging and don’t be bullied.
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team member of a organisation?
Board members must remain objective yet empathetic. They must advise, guide and approve but not tell how to do it.
Executive members, such as C suite are required to be strongly operational and report with integrity to the Board to seek strategic guidance.
This clear distinction of objectivity and strategic vision creates a synergistic and positive working relationship.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member so far?
I see a lot of Boards failing both executive management and shareholders by appointing only other Board Members of similar diversity.
The most successful board I have seen was a company selling to the 25 - 35 yo market of active outdoor people and young families. The Board had age, gender, and cultural diversity and the vibrancy was resonating all through the business.
The Chair told me they had a 70 year old for wisdom, two members representing their customer base, equal men and women and 5 different cultural backgrounds. It was very memorable!