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7 More Questions on Leadership with Warren Raisch

Name: Warren Raisch

Title: Technology Leader in IBM Global Markets

Organisation: IBM

Warren Raisch is a technology industry leader with global experience as an executive at some of the worlds highest growth technology companies including Apple, IBM, Adobe and HP divisions as well as leading global marketing giants including WPP and Publicis working with global brands to leverage technology to transform their business.

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 Warren’s answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?

As a leader it is important to boldly lead from the front with your vision but manage the execution of the vision shoulder to shoulder with your team and customers.

2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?

Everyone wants to be inspired to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Your vision should be bigger than anything you can ever achieve on your own. It should paint a picture of the future that you feel is possible . It is your organizations WHY. Your Mission defines your business model and the real tangible value that you are bringing to customers and the world. Your mission is the HOW you are going to make life better for your customers.

3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?

It is critical to empower your people. I always strive to hire people that are masters in their discipline and better, smarter, faster than I am in their specific skill areas. I empower people by leading with a strong well understood vision and then enabling and trusting people to take action, allowing them to fail, learn quickly and succeed. If you can't trust your people, you either have the wrong people or you are the wrong leader.

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?

When I was a young professional at Apple coming up the ranks I was all about speed and action, I was ready, fire, aim! I had an outstanding director named Allan White who was a few years ahead of me in age and definitely in wisdom. He taught me to slow down and look at the big picture. He ran his international business unit from a 24,000 cell Excel workbook and he challenged me to do the same. At first I was completely lost and struggled with the mass amount of data, forecasting and planning elements. I later grew to love data and the insights that it surfaced. Together we grew the Apple Latin America division and had some of the best times of my life. I am deeply thankful to Allan White for all that he taught me and for his patience with me.

5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?

It has been said before, but being passionately focused on your customer is a great way to provide clarity. But I was inspired by Steve Jobs who was the first leader that I heard say "Some people say, "Give the customers what they want." But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do." I loved the challenge of that approach and over the years I have found it to be true for the bigger wins. There are always tactical wins you can get from giving the customer what they want but the truly big wins have come from focusing on where you want to take the customer instead of where they are today.

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?

Planning is all about focus and execution. I focus on the unique value I and my team can deliver to customers and the world and we build passionate customers, followers and believers in our vision. My plan is all about executing on that vision and making a difference in our customers life.

7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?

I have always tried to operate as a Servant Leader, I am here to empower my teams, my clients and deliver measurable value to clients and my company. Delegation is all about believing in a shared vision and giving trust, responsibility and accountability to your team. You can only grow so much and so fast on your own. Delegate and empower your team and there is no limit to the success you all can achieve.

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