Name: George Trow
Title: Interim Chief Executive and Leadership Coach
Organisation: Self Employed
Having worked at Chief Executive level for over fourteen years I am now freelance as an interim and leadership coach.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.
I hope George's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?
Authenticity in all that you do is vital. Show that you care and are interested in all of the aspects of your company and the people within it. Be human and genuinely inquisitive about each job role and the person in that role. Walk the floor and display that interest and passion.
2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?
These are important to understand what the organisation does and the direction you are going in but keep it simple and short. It should be easy to translate into actions and remember the main thrust of it. The shorter the better or it is meaningless and never cited.
3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?
You can empower using trust and interest in what is happening with people and tasks. Congratulate and celebrate success and learn with teams about the less successful parts of the organisation. Visit parts of the business when expected and least expected and to do this you should diary walkabout time on a weekly basis. Be consistent in your dealings with the people and customers of your organisation and display consistency and creativity at the same time.
4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?
A significant coach and mentor for me was a Finance Director who I reported to. He always had a welcome for me and asked about how things were going. Arriving to him with an issue he always had a remedy and made me feel confident to do it. He told stories and anecdotes at times to ease tension regarding complex tasks and often gave me 5he confidence to resolve the matter myself. What a mentor really should be to an individual!
5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?
Rest and time away from the organisation is always important and I diary thinking time and creative space Not easy but when you stick to it greater things happen. Don’t take work home too often, don’t work weekends as an extension to your working week or you will work tired and exhausted. Sometimes you have to do tasks to get them completed but then rest. Focus on successes and remedy failures. Love your job and organisation or change something that you can change.
6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?
I look beyond today and horizon scan what others are doing. Learning from other organisations is important as is learning from my team. I control my diary and it does not control me. Making space I my daily and weekly diary work for me is important as it can be filled creatively with urgent matters which come up. I avoid meeting fatigue by cutting down as much as possible meaningless mundane meeting rounds. Meet for purpose and stimulation of ideas.
7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?
It is important to build trust around you and delegation is a great way to do this. Stop thinking you have to control and do everything yourself in planned steps by enabling your line reports to have a go. Don’t just hand out the things you don’t want to do but work with team members on things you can show them how to do. This ultimately creates space for you to do more and varied things. Try each day to support someone with a new task. Try some delegation sideways to others and also some back up the line to your managers without abdicating your responsibility.