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7 Questions on Leadership with Ross Broadbent

Name: Ross Broadbent

Title: CEO

Organisation: 9 Black Dots

I’m CEO of a company that is heading to market with a product that identifies genuine emotions in near-realtime via imagery and text - primarily on social media.

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

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


Jonno White

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

People listen. People understand - but they often fail to act.

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

Many colleagues would come to me for advice and support, for a range of issues and activities. I was asked to step up and lead, with their encouragement and support, I did so, with their continued support and encouragement.

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

I tend to plan and list my tasks, I like to see a list that has checks on it or where tasks are ruled through as completed. I wake at 6am(ish), shower, dress, check my diary, use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritise my day and then check my calendar for appointments and hit the ground running. I rarely eat breakfast, tend to initially thrive on coffee and lemon water.

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

I’m consistently reminded that ‘actions speak louder than words’. It is easy to state or say something, but doing something, being active - that’s the evidence of your intent. Leadership isn’t a talking shop - show people the way, show them how - they will follow.

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?

Anything by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I recommended JK-Z to a friend in a mental health crisis - that’s all I did, but that friend credits me (unnecessarily) with ‘saving his life’. Show people the way, show them how, they will follow.

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

Sorry to be repetitive but I’d tell them ‘actions speak louder than words’ but I would also caveat that with the need to develop a high EQ (emotional intelligence score).

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

Having taught a lot of mature learners, to get a team on board with your vision, you must build a rapport and make connections with whomever you are leading. Being humble and approachable is a high priority.

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