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7 Questions on Leadership with Chris Spake

Name: Chris Spake

Title: CEO

Organisation: BLUAGVE LLC

39 years in corporate roles selling and marketing beverage alcohol globally. Consultancy to startups in the tequila space. Growing brands, building people, creating a thriving culture to promote the best and the brightest.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Chris's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Strong leadership depends on expertise and skills to be a leader. Keeping up the skill set to be that expert, that people will follow, is mission critical.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I have been fortunate to have great leaders as bosses. I tried to take the best from all of them. Then I listened to the people I was leading, striving for continual improvement. Self awareness and emotional intelligence are the second mission critical

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I get up early and coffee and alone time, projecting my tasks for the day, so i can accomplish everything on my list. I go to sleep, auditing my list, and let my subconscious get me ready for coffee the next day. Planing your work and working your plan are mission critical 3.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

That company culture can change on a dime with the arrival and departure of people. It’s vital to retain the good people, and maintain a culture of positive growth opportunities.

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?

Thriving on Chaos.

The Challenger Sale.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.

Each book helps you navigate your path to emotional intelligence and effective leadership.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Second place is for losers. Be that employee that exceeds every expectation. Put in the overtime.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

An employee had to make a presentation in front of a large audience and was struggling with stage fright, speaking publicly. This person was a 4.0 student in history, highly intelligent. I said presenting to any audience is easy if you truly master your content. Mastering content lets you go off topic, present relative comps, and come back to where you left off. It takes great work to master your content. As the leader I referenced in the first question, you need to be the teacher of people mastering their content, so you can coach them on the things they missed. People who put in the overtime to master their content stand out, and the confidence they gain from that mastery takes away all the anxiety of being in large or small groups. Be the smartest guy in the room.

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