Resources  >> What Leadership On The Front Lines Looks Like

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  January 29, 2015

What Leadership On The Front Lines Looks Like

I do a lot of research and analysis, so I looked forward to taking a break one Wednesday afternoon last month. Instead, I learned more than I have in a week.

At my husband’s retirement party, I heard a lot of stories about the good ol’ days. In the laughter and heartfelt tributes, I also got the front-line perspective about these things we talk about at 30,000 feet:

  • The biggest thing that drives die-hard loyalty: don’t throw your staff under the bus. When stuff hit the fan, hubby stood up for his people. He fixed mistakes but would not tolerate attacks. Words cannot describe the impact that had. People stayed just because they worked with him.
  • The biggest thing that drives engagement: don’t jump in. My husband was short on answers and long on encouragement. His mantra: you can figure this out. And then he would leave them alone. What those folks created just because they were encouraged below their mind.
  • The biggest thing that drives innovation: don’t expect perfection. Many things he innovated have morphed and still live on. Some things were a failure-turned-funny-story. Why? Because hubby and his team would experiment without expecting a solution. They tinkered for the love of computing, not for the love of success. That made him a pioneer and visionary leader.

 

And the most important thing I learned: my husband was as good of a man at work as he is at home. Wow. And now he is all mine.

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.