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7 Questions on Leadership with Stephen Boyd


Name: Stephen Boyd


Title: Managing director


Organisation: Accenture Song









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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


Balancing my job and my personal life. Having started 2 companies right out of business school, you are almost immediately 1000% focused on the business and realizing it has to be successful for you to put food on the table for your family. And sometimes as you get older you need to manage some of those expectations and realize you might miss out on some great family moments if you´re not careful ,And that is somethnig I still struggle with today.


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


Well when you start a company you`re kind of thrown into the deep end from a leadership perspective. But in all honestly it probably wasn't until after I left my second company and went to a larger agency wherre I took on a leadership role and realized everyone in the room was looking to me to make decisions. You kind of wake up and go ah ok so this is the leadership reality and I just need to embrace it and run with it.


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


At this point, my oldest is at university but our youngest is still at home. So I get up with him, make him breakfast and lunch adn try to take that hour or so with him and on the way to school to enjoy it because it goes so fast. After drop off I typically come home and meditate before I jump into the work day. So then I start checking emails, start meetings, and reaching out to clients and colleagues. My days are typically pretty full of meetings and calls but I have been trying to block off lunch time to spend with my wife. Then its back into meetings for the rest of the day. I then usually try and work out for 45 min to an hour at the end of the day and then its back to family time. Of course, there are sometimes evening calls from different time zones that I need to be on but I try to balance those out. I also try to block out some time for learning and upskilling . things are changing so quickly and you can´t know all of it but you need to figure out whats important to you and your clients and be knowledgable about those things.


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


Sometimes, as a leader, we tend to be drivers but I think we have to remember that good leaders give others opportunties to lead. So I have been trying to talk less in larger meetings and give others the opportunity to speak up and give their thoughts. I will always give some piece of my POV as well but try not to lead with it.


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?


That´s a tough one. I think one of the most important books I am reading right now - I read it daily - is the Daily Stoic. It reminds me of what´s truly important, both personally and professionally, and also what I can and cannot control which certainly helps prioritizing through the day which I think is a big skill.


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


Spend a lot of time with other leaders you respect, learn from them and pass that on.


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


Years ago, we (my agency) really dropped the ball with our first major project with a very senior exec at a large global client. Rather than making up excuses and trying to find a way around it, I took the client to dinner, apologized for the mistakes we made and told her if she gave us another chance she wouldn´t regret it. And she agreed to keep working with us. To this day, she was one of my best clients and I consider her a great friend and mentor. And I learned to head problems off as quickly as possible and as transparently as possible.

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