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7 Questions with Kate Nasser
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7 Questions with Kate Nasser
Name: Kate Nasser
Current title: The People Skills Coach™ & President
Current organisation: CAS, Inc.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ has trained thousands of leaders, managers and employees of large corporations in positive interactions for success in business for 25+ years. These interactions affect sales, development, morale, and productivity. Leaders and teams achieve far greater heights when listening, communication, and emotional intelligence are fully engaged. Kate has a M.A. in Organizational Psychology and is the author of Leading Morale.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
CEO's challenges have grown over the years as corporations embrace each new generation of employees. Besides the ever present focus on P&L, CEO's now must address attracting the talent the corporation needs to meet its future directions and growth. Today's talent wants more than a paycheck. Morale which is all about respect and dignity is front and center. That means training all leaders and managers to lead morale through employee engagement, empowerment, and recognition.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I became CEO of my own company 25+ years ago to use ALL of my experience, knowledge, talent, and insights. I found working in any one job to be limited by the job description. Because of my experience in large corporations prior to founding CAS, Inc., I targeted large corporations as my customers. It has been very rewarding.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
When you are running your own business, you plan structure for each day yet it shifts as the day goes on. This doesn't reflect lack of focus. Rather, it shows appropriate responsiveness to
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The most significant leadership lesson I have learned over the years is to never assume. If you can rid your daily work of assumptions, you become a highly effective leader.
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?
Given the nature of my work (consulting / training on human interactions for success in business), two books of note that help address sticky and possibly damaging situations are: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton and Take the Bully by the Horns by Sam Horn. It is tempting for leaders to turn a blind eye to bad behavior claiming people should work out their differences themselves. Yet, assholes and bullies are cancers that secretly undermine morale and drive talent out the door. Address these bad behaviors!
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
It helps to hire and/or promote people who exhibit the people skills needed to lead people. See the potential, develop it further, and if it isn't working out, shift them out of those leadership positions. Don't base your leadership hiring/promotion positions on just P&L results. Also, remember to higher/promote diversity in leadership. It's not just an HR/EEO issue. Leaders lead different types of people and thus there should be diversity in leadership.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
As I have worked with many CEO's, the one story that I never forgot was the leader who was very confident in giving praise, respectful in giving criticism, and had all the leaders/managers trained to do the same thing with those they were leading. It created a very very positive culture with great morale.