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7 Questions with Chris Boardman
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7 Questions with Chris Boardman
Name: Chris Boardman
Current title: Founder/CEO
Current organisation: CBMG Enterprises
45 Years in the Entertainment Industry as a freelance film composer, arranger, orchestrator, producer, conductor, recording artist, public speaker and educator. Oscar nomination, 6 Emmy Awards, 13 Emmy Nominations, 2 University of Miami Mentor of the Year nominations. Founded a record label, social media content strategy consulting firm, 3D digital signage firm and online music education company. Author of "Walking with Giants" - a memoir to be published 2022.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Changing the direction of a large organization is very difficult. We live in extraordinary times. As my friend Nolan Bushnell said to me: "In an event horizon the status quo is detached from the future".
As a leader the need to address radical change in real time is a given, fighting bureaucratic inertia and corporate culture may be the most difficult task. Clark Christensen's book "The Innovator's Dilemma" describes this very accurately.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I spent the bulk of my life as an independent contractor on a project basis. In film the composer is a department head in the corporate structure. The size of the project dictates the budget and size of the team to be managed. It would range from 5-10 to 100 people or more. I was mentored as a teenager by an industry icon. Through that relationship I was introduced to Quincy Jones, Julie Andrews, Shirley MacLaine (this was in the late 70s) and more. I did good work so I built a reputation and continued to work for decades. In terms of budgets and teams to manage perhaps the largest was when I wrote and produced the score to Payback.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Interestingly enough the Pandemic hasn't affected my day to day because I have always worked from home. I wake up at roughly the same time every morning. I make my coffee and breakfast and then go to work. I make a list of tasks to accomplish to meet a deadline (either self-imposed or by a client) and then assign a length of time to accomplish each task. I'll break for lunch. Go back to work until later in the afternoon and break to exercise, have dinner and then, depending on the workload I will work until I get ready for bed. Before I stop I will review the progress I made during the day and revise my schedule to ensure I make my deadline.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
There are two. One, is to be clear about what you want your team to do. And the second one is to listen intently without judgement to my team. I have found that acknowledging their point of view is extraordinarily important to creating an inclusive culture.
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?
The most powerful book I've read (and I try to always have a book on hand to read) is "The Color of Law" by Richard Rothstein. It paints a scathing portrait of legalized discrimination in the United States beginning with the Compromise of 1877, It documents how our culture has systematically oppressed blacks and POC while simultaneously indoctrinating white America into a belief they were entitled to power and privilege.
If we do not acknowledge the inequities that are an integral part of our culture there is no leadership... only maintenance of the status quo. Moving forward I have a new appreciation for the struggles and successes of any individual which gives me license to encourage my team to act and lead their teams with empathy and respect.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
be direct, be fair, listen, be clear in your direction and create an inclusive culture.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Hard for me to know what you are looking for? Every situation is different with dynamics unique to that moment. I have lots of stories but none that I wish to share.