In this episode, Sam Shriver, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at The Center for Leadership Studies, talks with George Morrow about consistency and flexibility in leadership.
Welcome to The Center for Leadership Studies podcast, an exploration of contemporary leadership issues with experts from a variety of fields and leadership backgrounds. In this episode, Sam Shriver, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at The Center for Leadership Studies, talks with George Morrow about consistency and flexibility in leadership.
Two words you hear bantered about quite a bit in leadership discussions are consistency and flexibility. And from your experience, when does a leader have to be consistent, and when do they have to be flexible?
Well, I think you have to be consistent with a lot of things. As a manager, you have to be consistent in terms of giving honest feedback and giving praise and things like that. You have to be consistent in terms of your emotional resolve and dealing with people who are a little stressed out. You can’t exacerbate mood swings people will have at work. I mean, people take work very seriously, and if they come in with their hair on fire, you can’t light your hair on fire in your head too. You got to be kind of the rock, I think. Basketball analogy. You’re down three points with a minute to go. If the coach is going crazy on the sidelines, guess what the players are going to do, right? So think consistently.
Emotionally is really important, and there’s obviously some degrees of difference in there in terms of pumping people up versus calming people down and so forth. But you don’t want to amplify the bad emotions from your direct reports. I guess I would say when it comes to your values, you have to be consistent. You have to respect people and expect to be respected. You have to have total integrity. You can never fudge it or cut corners on that. You always have to be a team player. So your area may be working with another area. You’ve got to be the role model team player because it’s very easy to polarize your group against another group. So I think in the whole range of values communication, you can’t surprise people with stuff that they should know in order to do their jobs better.
So, you have to be a consistent, good communicator. If I look back on my career, that’s one thing I always give myself bad marks on. Oh, I probably should have told the group this a little bit earlier. It wasn’t out of any secrecy that I didn’t do it. I just didn’t think to do it because I wasn’t thinking from their perspective. And the whole notion that it’s all about them, they’re doing the work, you got to feed them all the information they need. That’s your number one priority.
As an Executive Vice President at Amgem, the world’s largest independent biotech company, George Morrow led global commercial operations, the division responsible for the commercial activities of approximately 3800 staff in over 50 countries. He also oversaw global government affairs, which manages Amgen’s policy and strategies with various government agencies. Before joining Amgen, George had 20 years of commercial pharmaceutical experience, with 10 years at Merck and 10 at Glaxo.
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