PESA Board Member Michael Kearney, Chairman, President & CEO, Frank’s International, shared his thoughts and insights into leadership and personal growth during a forum on November 5, hosted by the Emerging Executives Committee.
Kearney began by addressing the differences between having a leadership position and being a leader others want to follow. He explained that to have people follow you, not only do you have to be a good leader but you have to have a team mentality.
Kearney discussed various styles of leadership and emphasized how good leadership is based on being able to morph one’s style depending on the context, the people, their background and what is trying to be accomplished. As Kearney’s role has evolved at Frank’s International, the context and who he is surrounded by has also changed. At one point he found himself leading a group of people who could be considered to be in the “business hall of fame” and realized his leadership style had to be much more collaborative based on the context of the people in the room.
Kearney found himself in a situation where a CEO was much more autocratic and told executive committee members, “everybody around this table has one vote, but mine is the only one that counts.” Kearney found some truth in this and understood the intent. Depending on the context, he said, some situations require a leader to step up and make a decision if highly valued input does not reach a consensus.
Kearney also emphasized the importance of being a good listener and being a servant leader while balancing humility and confidence. A leader is there to support the team and give encouragement while being humble but also being confident enough to reach goals. Self-reflection is also key, as this aids in assessing what does and doesn’t work resulting in more efficiency as a leader. He also mentioned encouraging one to think as an owner; whether it’s expense structure, leadership or what to do with a customer, one can form their own opinion and act based on thinking like an owner.
Leadership forums allow Member Company high performers to interact with industry executives through open dialogue structured around a targeted theme. Check the PESA event listings to see when the next forum is scheduled.