Ensemble acting in business

Ensemble acting in business - Ensemble acting in business...

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Ensemble acting in business June 7, 2009 CORNER OFFICE Ensemble Acting, in Business  This interview of Clarence Otis Jr., C.E.O. of  Darden Restaurants , was  conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. Q. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned? A. It’s one that I learned early on, and it kept getting reinforced and cemented  over time with a number of different leaders. It’s this notion that leaders really  think about others first. They think about the people who are on the team,  trying to help them get the job done. They think about the people who they’re  trying to do a job for. Your thoughts are always there first, and you think about  what’s the appropriate response for whatever that audience is, and you think  last about “what does this mean for me?” The guy who reinforced that most would have been my predecessor here at  Darden, Joe Lee. I was C.F.O. at the time, but on Sept. 11, 2001, after it  became clear what had happened, we had an all-employee meeting, and Joe  started to talk. One of the first things he said was, “we are trying to understand  where all our people are who are traveling.” The second thing he said was: “We’ve got a lot of Muslim teammates,  managers in our restaurants, employees in our restaurants, who are going to 
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be under a lot of stress during this period. And so, we need to make sure we’re  attentive to that.” And that was pretty powerful. Of all the things you could  focus on that morning, he thought about the people who were on the road and  then our Muslim colleagues. Q. How would you say your leadership style has changed over time? A. It’s less and less about getting the work done and more and more about  building the team — getting the right people in place who have the talent and  capability to get the work done and letting them do it. Q. Anything in your background that, looking back, prepared you for the art of  building a team? A. The thing that prepared me the most — where the team was front and  center — was theater, which I did a lot of growing up, in high school, during  college, law school and even for a couple of years after law school. I would say  that probably is the starkest lesson in how reliant you are on others, because  you’re there in front of an audience. It’s all live, and everybody’s got to know  their lines and know their cues and know their movement, and so you’re  totally dependent on people doing that.
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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Ensemble acting in business - Ensemble acting in business...

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