From a leadership position, knowing yourself before you lead a team is crucial, said Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Bruce Miller, VP, Director of Government & Industry Affairs, SLB, during a leadership forum at the Jackie Robinson Suite at Minute Maid Park on November 9.
The forum, sponsored by the Emerging Executives Committee, was kicked off by Committee Vice Chair Ayodeji Daramola, Halliburton, and sponsored by strategic partners Chevron, NexTier Completions Solutions and SLB.
Miller delivered a comprehensive view of the future of leadership, including five pillars that he sees as essential: mastering complexity through strategic analytics and modeling; leveraging engagement, coaching and developing your people; grading teams; delivering on performance by supporting customer centricity and modeling integrity; and leading through self-awareness and self-regulation.
Miller emphasized the need for a forward-looking approach in today’s complex business landscape. “When we talk about strategic thinking, it’s about not waking up every day just focused on expenses or cost line items. It’s about thinking big,” he said. “If you’re going to think big, you can fail, but fail fast. We’ve succeeded and pulled back before, and that’s okay. We need to continue to move forward.”
“Encouraging teams to experiment and fail fast is crucial. The whole idea of what happened in the last 10 years in the Permian with fracking started as an idea that many didn’t believe in initially.”Bruce Miller, VP, Director of Government & Industry Affairs, SLB
Miller challenged the audience to think and reflect on new ideas. “Don’t be the ‘no’ guy,” he said. “Sometimes when something new comes along, don’t just immediately discount it and say, well, I’m not going to be part of that. That’s ridiculous. Have a think about it, reflect on it, and try to buy into it to see if it might cultivate innovation.”
When it comes to leading a team, Miller stressed knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as setting clear expectations for the team.
“You need to create the right environment and give your people the freedom to come up with ideas, giving them a lease to stretch a but, as well as the resources to do their jobs,” Miller said. “Trust and autonomy is also important. If you trust your people, you give them freedom to do what they want.”
When developing talent, Miller said he makes sure to mentor the younger generation and the people around himself.
“Make sure your organization is a meritocracy. Surround yourself with high performers, the people who are doing the right things and doing them with integrity.”
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