Early in my career with New York Life, I had the opportunity to interview a talented executive who was interested in a career with our firm. Having just sold his software startup, he was intrigued by our approach to wealth management; most notably, our philanthropic work. Although he was 30+ years my senior, I was incredibly comfortable in his presence. To me, he embodied what I most admired in a leader; he was humble, confidently decisive, and truly interested in my wellbeing.
We had multiple meetings, but in the end, we decided that our firm wasn’t the ideal fit for him, largely due to our lack of management cohesiveness. Despite that, our relationship deepened and he volunteered to serve as an informal strategic advisor to me. For the next three years, he challenged me like I’ve never been challenged before; he shaped my confidence by aligning my priorities with my highest competence; he made me believe that our success was in direct proportion to our weakest link; and perhaps his most important contribution was a simple metaphor that still rings in my ear still today – he would always end our sessions by reminding me that “business is like riding a bicycle, the moment you stop peddling, you fall off.”
As I was speaking Captain David Marquet, I found myself going back to those days, because as David likes to say, “leadership, at its essence is about ‘giving up control.” Here’s why Fortune Magazine calls his book, Turn the Ship Around, – ‘the best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training and driving flawless execution ——-