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7 Questions on Leadership with Henry Stoever


Name: Henry Stoever


Title: Principal


Organisation: Brentwood Advisory Group


Strategic, growth-focused business leader with CEO, CMO, and board experience. Track record of rapidly expanding revenue and impact with publicly traded consumer packaged goods and technology companies and nonprofit organizations. Results-focused champion who inspires voice of the customer strategies and inclusive cultures to deliver outcomes that exceed expectations via data-driven, segment-specific value.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


Helping colleagues understand the "why," simplify the complex, and focus on outcomes. While our society and all businesses are complex, I find it most effective to help team members focus on outcomes, first, and then work backwards to determine why, how, when, with what resources.


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


Three steps in my leadership journey:


1. When I was in 10th grade, my great uncle Randy asked me, "What do you know about leadership?" I replied, not much...why do you ask? He responded by saying, "Whatever you decide to do in life, leadership is essential. Whether you go into business, work in the ministry, or in government, our society requires great leaders to inspire others to accomplish more than they could anticipate. Instead of going to Duke University, he convinced me to go to the United States Naval Academy to learn about leadership and to serve our country.


2. While serving in the United States Marine Corps for five years as an infantry officer, I learned how to inspire teams to accomplish very difficult missions and tasks. One of the greatest lessons I learned in the military was to showcase empathy for team members to ensure they know that their leader sincerely cares about their wellbeing. I have carried this leadership attribute with me over the last 30 years while working for nonprofit associations and publicly traded companies.


3. Building on my first response, I help teams simplify the complex, understand the why, and focus on outcomes. I honestly do not care when and where people work, as long as they do so in a legally-compliant manner and are accountable for expectations with their colleagues.

These three steps have enabled me to develop my "TCPS" approach to inspiring outcomes that exceed stakeholders' expectations.


* T = developing inclusive and collaborative Teams that are...

* C = relentlessly focused on deepening their understanding of Customers' priorities...

* P = and develop Products and services that address these priorities...

* S = through a well-informed Strategy that guides an organization's efforts to deliver results (outcomes) that exceed stakeholders' expectations.


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


I try to pray, exercise, and prioritize every day, typically in the morning. I also work to differentiate the urgent from the important while also helping team members and other leaders to do the same.

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


Pay attention to social cues, ensure others know you are actively listening, and provide feedback to ideas. These three lessons are experiential in nature, and they require great team partners to provide radical candor so as to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.


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?


From Good to Great. Helped me understand the importance of focusing on priorities, establishing true differentiation, and building strong, inclusive teams.


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


Ask your manager two questions:


1. What are your goals, and how can I help you accomplish your goals?

2. What are your expectations of me so that I can become an exemplary contributor and team partner?


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


When I first became the president and CEO of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), I asked each of my leadership team members "What do you want to be and/or become when you grow up?" I also asked each of them to ask each of their direct reports and their team members the same question. Many responded by saying, "Wow, I have been working for a long time, and no one has ever asked me this question." I believe this story paid dividends for years to come as I showed empathy for each team member.

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