Paul Records On Leadership are highlights from an indepth discussion with my mentor.
I am very fortunate to have reported to and/or worked with some incredible leaders during my career. And Paul Records is one of those people, a credible leader.
Please read on to see why.
Paul Records, VP of Business Development, Oration, Inc
Who or what has most influenced your leadership style?
Both family members and people from the professional arena played high profile roles. Most notable: my grandmother; she played the top role. She was a very caring person, focused on what was best for the long term, and how to get things done in a way that respected people. I refer to her as the first “invisible hand” who worked to guide and influence how I understood and performed work. For example: on her rental properties, I was assigned chores, tasked with doing things. I was sent back to do them again if they were not done right. The most important lesson the taught me? If it’s worth doing, do it right and understand why doing it right matters..
The next person is my brother who is five (5) years older. We were partners in an animal business that grew from one monkey to over a hundred animals, including elephants and camels. We called it the Traveling Menagerie and it paid my way through college. The most important thing I learned was how to help people navigate difficult situations.
From a professional standpoint, Joe Donald influenced my career and leadership style the most. He was an executive with visibility from an operating standpoint who shepherded my opportunities. He was aware of and cared about my development, and stayed in touch with me over the years. When the opportunity came to move to the top job in HR for the company, Joe made a point of making time for us to talk. He encouraged me to never lose sight of what really matters: the people who do the good work. I consider Joe a blend of sponsor and mentor.
In your leadership roles, what has been the most challenging? The most rewarding?
Seeing the “unseeable” and knowing the unknowable. My trade has been about understanding organizations, people and what it takes to get things done. Dealing with these issues helped me develop the capability to navigate situations, subtleties, timing and understanding motivations.
I believe the most important skill for a leader is listening to really understand what is happening and put forth a solution. There’s the obvious and there’s the behind the scenes. A leader must be able to live in both worlds. I have found that multiple situations help create perspective and insight.
Having people recognize, reach back and acknowledge that your early relationship was helpful to them. Even though there has been a space of time, unsolicited and unexpectedly, they let me how I helped them; that I made a difference.
Seeing complex and large scale initiatives or projects come together and be successful is also rewarding. When something significant landed and landed well, knowing that I individually played a key role in doing it or helping to make it happen, that is rewarding. One example is leading cross functional teams from around the globe that shaped the future of an entire company.
Paul Records On Leadership is just a snapshot into what makes Paul a credible leader. To gain more insights, please read on.
Have you had the pleasure of working with Paul? If so, please share how his leadership made a positive impact on you personally and professionally.
- Tom Peters