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7 Questions on Leadership with Edward Willets


Name: Edward Willets


Title: CEO


Organisation: Willets Midstream Services, LLC


Over 25 years in Oil and Gas. Specializing in process and troubleshooting.





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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


As a leader in a leadership role, shuffling the hats that are necessary to wear when in a leadership position is tough, and one that requires constant and continual learning. As a leader when not in a leadership position, doing what's right even when your peers, coworkers, and leaders demand otherwise. Sometimes it's about safety, and sometimes it's about principles, but when you stop doing what you know is right, in order to "play ball" or "not rock the boat," you remove yourself from being a leader. You may get a job that denotes the term, but you are not a leader.


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


I read and I learn. Then I use that knowledge to better what's around me. I don't really think I can come up with a particular story with a place in time that I became a leader. It's something that happens when you are raised by good parents that teach you correct principles and standards. Having leadership roles in the work world have come because I never said "no" to an opportunity. When an opportunity has been presented that I did not have the necessary experience for I would study and learn it. I would say that I earned the role of leader throughout many small stories over many years.


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


The mornings start with the night before.


Before anything I take care of the personal things that come with being a parent. Then I look over emails and other communications that have come in and answer the urgent ones immediately (or at least as quickly as possible, depending on the amount of work necessary to develop the proper response). I then schedule what is needed to be done based on priority. I also have some very key people that I rely on to take care of their pieces of it all.


Having the key people in place is important, as days, schedules, priorities and emergencies are always vying for the spotlight. While there is always something that is calling for attention, my daughters always take precedence, although I am sure it doesn't always feel that way.


There is never a time that the job is done, especially since I have meetings and such coming from Alaska on one end of the spectrum of the time zones and Zambia on the other end. So maybe "structure" is the wrong term for the question, as mine sometimes feels about as structured as a Jello mold.


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


Let the people you put in a trusted position do what you trusted them to do. You can't be available for everything. If you did your job right in training those around you, choosing the right person for the task, then you know you can rely on them.


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?


Calculus Made Easy. Odd choice as it may be, it was a fun read in high school. The classic match textbook in school will give you a problem, with the precise methods they want you to follow in order to solve the problem/equations. Calculus Made Easy was an entire book showing there are many ways to solve a problem and still come out with the correct answer.


To my surprise, this didn't make me popular with teachers. It has impacted me as a constant reminder that often times, we can reach the right solution from many different paths. Take everyone's input seriously and consider it. That is how we develop efficiency and optimize what we do.


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


Don't turn down an opportunity because you don't feel capable; become capable.


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


There are many meaningful stories I can tell from my time as a leader. Most of the best ones come from being a leader without being in a leadership position. If you want to hear these stories, smoke a brisket, invite me over and pour me an old fashioned.

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