View from the C-Suite with Charles Brown, President, The Source

Posted June 15, 2012 in Latest News & Insights

Earlier this month, a select group of our members had an amazing opportunity to sit down for a straight up conversation with Charles Brown, President of The Source.  We’ve had a number of terrific leaders join our podiums over the past 4 years, but I can honestly say, Charles Brown was the first one to tell me to “screw off” (in jest, of course).  Demonstrating authenticity with a capital A, Charles takes our prize for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly about his leadership journey with our members.  For all who missed it, here are some of our most memorable quotes and insights:

Simplify the message to increase alignment… business doesn’t need to be complicated.  Charles shared 3 simple principles that everyone at The Source understands that simply and effectively sums up the goals and responsibilities of The Source team.  Think of it as a creating a business mantra.

Bring the axe down quickly… if you’re going to fire, fire fast.  People’s red flags go up early, so don’t delay the inevitable.

Pick your timing… when the business is going well, people more likely to say NO/not willing to take the chance; when things aren’t going well more likely to say YES/take the risk to get them out of a tough situation.  And, in the middle, you may get “No” a lot, so get comfortable with rejection… and decide which hill your willing to die on.

Bigger isn’t better… forget having 500 friends or connections on LinkedIn.  When it comes to networking you need 10 people who can make things happen for you.  This allows you to maintain your network and deepen key relationships so that the help is there when it counts.

Three leadership “rules” to live by… consistency, transparency and overcommunication.

Great leaders anticipate.

Adopt the principle of “benign neglect”… there are “vanity projects” and “pet projects” everywhere.  Know what the 3 to 4 most crucial things are to your boss and the business and put the majority of your energy there.  Keep other projects on the “back burner”.  Sooner or later many of them will be forgotten or will die (but of course, don’t forget about them… just keep them simmering on low).

Life balance is a myth… find a job you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.

Understand your risk life cycle… taking risks allows us to grow both personally and professionally.  However, at some stages in our lives, it may not be the right time to take a big risk.  Don’t let fear hold you back, but also know when to delay an opportunity until the timing in your life is better.

Employees today need to know “why”… it’s crucial to be transparent and tie individual goals to the broader organizational goals and strategy.

As with all our events, there was so much more.  Our thanks to our members who came out and engaged in a thoughtful discussion and a very special thank you to Charles Brown who wowed everyone in the room with his honesty and candor.  Father’s Day is this weekend, so head to The Source to do your last minute shopping.

Happy leading!


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