On Thursday, March 7, CU South Denver hosted our second Journey to the Top | C-Suite Series, featuring Steve White, president of Comcast – West Division. During an inspiring fireside chat with Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet, White shared his personal story of how he persevered through hardships and forged his path to success. From the importance of inclusivity and his leadership philosophy, to building a strong company culture, White empowered the audience with his humble yet authentic approach to leadership.
Here’s what we took away:
Create an environment where everyone sits at the table of prosperity
Think of this as a guiding leadership principle–when everyone can participate, it is a winning philosophy. Listening is one of the most important skills a leader can have. Listen to every level of staff in your organization, your customers, your partners and clients. As these individuals have on-the-ground experiences, they have critical insights to share regarding opportunities, challenges and solutions.
One of the most important things a leader can do to influence success for the organization is to lift their people up. Empower them, forward them, support them and value their contributions. If you lift them up, they will in turn lift you up. Having the right employees is crucial. The most important qualities that White looks for in his employees is a positive attitude and individuals that always commit to doing their best work. Effort and attitude are the only two things you can control. These character traits are hard to teach, so it is vital to find employees who instinctively demonstrate them
Be yourself and allow the best to come out
Being vulnerable and sharing your story is key to becoming an authentic leader. Authentic leadership cannot be accomplished in a silo. While it is helpful to surround yourself with a positive support network, having people who will be honest with you is all the better. Find people who do not sugar-coat the matter, but instead ask thought-provoking questions that enable you to think outside of the box.
The next Journey to the Top event will take place at CU South Denver on Thursday, Aug. 22 and will feature Kent Thiry, CEO of DaVita.