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The Talent Magnet Leadership Podcast


Episode #179: Extraordinary Leader Series, Part 11, with Steve Hess and Guest Host, Don Frericks

What is the secret to becoming a great leader? Steve Hess and Don Frericks share the answer on Part 11 of the Extraordinary Leader Series within the Talent Magnet Leadership Podcast. Now retired, Steve was leading at LexisNexis for 34 years. In this fascinating conversation, Steve and Don explore what it means to be a great leader, the traits great leaders possess and how listeners can become great leaders themselves.

  • It was Steve’s time as a teacher that gave him the foundation to be a leader in the corporate world. When starting in leadership, it's important to start with a small group, or in an area you are familiar with. Also, observe the leaders who are around you and get inspired by them. [4:44]
  • Steve advises listeners to take the time to learn people's names because it's important to them and makes them feel good. [10:52]
  • You can learn what not to do from bad leaders, but they also have skills that are good that you may want to emulate. [14:00]
  • Being introverted does not deter you from being a great leader. Introverts simply need to develop some skills that allow them to communicate easily. You can't have introversion when dealing with clients or customers. "You have to crawl out of that space and become more extroverted," Steve tells Don. You can be an introvert with knowledge on how to converse with clients. You can be quiet with quiet confidence. [17:37]
  • Steve and Don shift focus to feedback. 360 feedback is so invaluable because it gives rated feedback across various aspects, but also verbatim comments on what you as a leader are doing right, and what you can improve on. [19:14]
  • Steve talks about the leadership course he attended and meeting his leadership coach Sherry Howard. Having a leadership coach is a great way to become a better leader. It is a great relationship to establish and a way to be completely open with someone about your fears, hopes, and aspirations as a leader. Good leadership coaches help you unpack and understand yourself and give you options to problems that you probably would not have seen. [21:41]
  • In developing businesses for the future, leaders need to fine tune their skills to suit the remote working world that will exist. Being a great communicator is easier in face-to-face interactions; nonetheless, leaders will have to hone their communications skills for the virtual work environment. Steve is hopeful for an increased focus on leadership because employees need to see their leaders steering the ship, especially after the events of the pandemic. He is also hopeful that businesses will focus on growing leaders in order to properly prepare them for their roles. [30:16]
  • To accelerate your leadership development, go out and learn more about the business in which you operate. Meet with people and help them grow, interview other leaders on their leadership styles and what they do to become a great leader. [34:26]
  • Not everyone can be a manager, but you don't have to be in a management position to lead people. Some people are comfortable staying in their own position and growing and learning new things in that position. They can still lead from that vantage point. [38:42]



Don Frericks | LinkedIn 

Steve Hess | Facebook 


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