The Emerging Executives Committee and Executive Leadership Program participants attended the first quarterly networking events of the year with sessions aimed at forging ties between students of the three programs: Engaging Leadership, Strategic & Branded Executive and Advanced Business Development.
The virtual format enabled individuals from around the country to attend, including participants in the Engaging Leadership Middle East and Permian cohorts.
Emerging Executives Committee Chair Omeid Rahimian, Oceaneering; Vice Chair Chris Berrie, Global Industry Manager – Well Service Pumps, Caterpillar; and Council COO Molly Determan led the session, which took participants through small group discussions of topics distributed in advance.
The Emerging Executives Committee designed the format to help attendees identify career development and leadership behaviors that work for them, and brainstorm ways to continue development post-graduation, including opportunities to develop others. The questions also provide the Council with feedback to tailor programming for future cohorts.
Discussion questions covered important attributes of successful leaders, how to motivate teams despite conflicts and obstacles, and ways of differentiating from others throughout the career/leadership journey. Participants were also asked to share books, podcasts or resources on leadership.
“It’s been a challenging 18 months, and keeping the team motivated was hard. So, with lots of obstacles that we’ve had to overcome, the main thing was to celebrate the wins, no matter how small. It may seem small to others, but it can be a success for that individual.”Virtual Networking Participant
Another participant discussed the meaning and value of collaboration.
“Leading collaboration doesn’t mean that the leader or boss says something, and you say ‘OK, yes,’” said the individual. “Collaboration means finding common ground. If there’s a conflict or obstacle, then work through it in a way that is in the best interest of the company. People feel motivated when they’re heard, even if the final course of action isn’t 100% aligned with their thoughts and feelings.”
Participants dissected the challenges of remote work forced by the pandemic.
“At first everything was fine. Then we noticed the team was having issues. Little disagreements that just got worse. The problem was a lack of communication outside of projects — conversations in the hallway, by the proverbial water cooler. We implemented virtual team-building events where we didn’t talk about work. It was an opportunity for people share a life hack, a book or a movie recommendation, or teach us something new. It was a way for us to communicate at a human level, and it helped resolve a lot of the work conflicts.”Virtual Networking Participant
Participants recommended books such as “Making It All Work” by David Allen, “How to Lead Smart People” by Arun Singh and Mike Mister and “Shackleton’s Way” by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell.
The small group discussions were led by a moderator from the Emerging Executives Committee who shared key takeaways to the entire group at the end of the session. The format created a casual atmosphere with room for introductions, jokes and anecdotal exchanges.
For more information about the Emerging Executives Committee or the Executive Leadership Program, contact Senior Director Membership Services Peggy Helfert.