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  • Hello, I'm Richard Wilson, Chief Executive of Interactive Investor, the UK retail investment platform.

  • And these are my biggest lessons.

  • My first lesson is to have the courage to be yourself.

  • I possibly spent the first 10 years of my career, trying very hard to fit in,

  • and be what I thought was expected to be rather than being myself.

  • To be a leader, you really have to live your principles,

  • and you have to live your personality, and by doing that you can be authentic.

  • That gives you the possibility of creating a space where others can be proud of who they are,

  • and you can create an inclusive environment, which makes for a much stronger organization.

  • My second lesson is to stay focused on your North Star.

  • Find your purpose, find what matters, and stick to it.

  • Leadership is surrounded by uncertainty, by contradictions,

  • by trade-offs, by lots of noise.

  • It's so important as you navigate through that to find and stick to

  • what really matters so that then you can deliver.

  • And at the end of the day, you are what you do, and strategy is nine-tenths execution.

  • So that North Star keeps you focused on what matters, and you stay at it, day in, day out.

  • My third lesson is communication. With communication you really need to

  • try and maintain an ongoing dialogue. We forget that we have so many

  • people around us with lots of conflicting priorities,

  • and we need to share every day with different stakeholders.

  • Myself, I have board, direct teams, and indirect organizations.

  • You need to find a way to stay connected. My own behavior, my own habit,

  • is that I make sure every day I have a collective conversation with my direct team,

  • and I have a conversation with every individual on that team.

  • Why? So we stay connected, so we share and there are therefore

  • far fewer surprises, and you can be consistent and role model every day.

  • My fourth lesson is listening. We all arrive in the workplace,

  • whether we like it or not, with our own preconceived ideas.

  • We have plans, we have objectives, we have priorities, and in my career,

  • what's always surprised me is how seldom plans survive meeting reality.

  • It's so important to take the time to get the facts, to listen to different people's perspectives,

  • and then to adapt as you proceed. The key question is always

  • what really is going on here and try and get a clear view of that before making decisions.

  • My fifth lesson is to trust your team.

  • Throughout my career, the most powerful experience I've had

  • is with a group of people together, achieving what we thought was improbable.

  • That takes a combination of different skills, it takes confidence, it takes tenacity.

  • As a leader, most of the job is to support the team and help them navigate their own pathway,

  • and to be there to support. The most important thing for me in all of that

  • is to keep your promises and build that trust, so that the personal risks people take,

  • they're happy to do, and ultimately you get there.

Hello, I'm Richard Wilson, Chief Executive of Interactive Investor, the UK retail investment platform.

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How one CEO cut out the noise and became a better leader | My Biggest Lessons

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    Summer posted on 2021/10/25
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