By Alan Murray and Geoffrey Smith
November 8, 2017

Good morning.

At Dreamforce yesterday, I moderated a panel of five CEOs on the challenges of leading in an age of accelerating technological transformation. The organizations they represented were diverse—from selling motorcycles (Jason Chinnock of Ducati North America), to hosting video (Susan Wojcicki of You Tube), to operating casinos (Mark Frissora of Caesars), to banking (Stephen Bird of Citi Global Consumer Banking) to training girls (Sylvia Acevedo of Girl Scouts USA.).

Yet they all sounded like they faced the same challenge—how to create cultures that can identify, adopt, and embrace rapid innovation.

As a final question, I asked them the most important leadership lesson they had learned for managing rapid change. Frissora emphasized the importance of transparency, and Wojcicki echoed that by telling how she holds a management meeting each week at which any employee can ask her any question. Acevedo, noting her organization is largely made up of volunteers, talked of the importance of showing people respect. Bird said he works to create a workplace free from fear, so employees are willing to experiment and take risks. And Chinnock finished up by quoting this advice, which he said he heard just just two days earlier, from another conference attendee:

“Leadership is 35% coaching, and the rest is following. You can’t have all the answers; you have to empower others to find them.”

Words to live by. More news below.

Alan Murray


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