The Big Three - Talking Values - in Conversation with Lloyd Emerson Johnson
Lloyd Johnson is a former Fortune 50 Leader, independent board director, and board consultant. With his broad experience in financial and strategic planning, Lloyd thinks across disciplines, business functions, cultures, and scenarios. We’re discussing his vast experience in the business world.
This is part one of the conversation we had with Lloyd.
Lloyd, you have worked internationally for many years, in close collaboration with and as an advisor to high-level leaders. What would you say are the three key lessons you learned from working at this level?
“I’ve learned that certain values apply universally and across all cultures. However, let’s begin with the big three — communication, trust, and high-performance execution.
“Everything starts with establishing a quality relationship — that’s the foundation — and I’ve always felt that collaboration through communication in a “straight talk” manner was one of the most important elements to managing relationships with business leaders at all levels and especially with CEOs. This is a truism that transcends borders. Effective communication means authenticity plus proactive informed communication. Importantly, leadership level advisors must spend the required time to learn the strategy, business model, operations, organizational culture, risk environment, and other significant factors that are relevant to the organization. I consider this an absolute ‘must’ in order to be not only effective but also reliable in advising others. At the board level, we often discuss these matters in terms of “duty of care”, however, it’s a universal principle that applies at every level. As a general practice, I immerse myself in relevant areas to obtain the best insight available, ask questions as needed for understanding, and communicate timely, to maintain effective and productive relationships.
“A second and equally important learning is trust. Leaders are only ready to rely on and enthusiastically effectuate your advice if they have a high level of trust in your capabilities, professionalism, and performance record. We know that relationships matter but, in fact, relationships only work well when mutual trust exists. Simply put, the other party needs to know that you care about their interests and can deliver superior results. As we know, real trust takes time to develop and nothing works better to build it than a strong and consistent track record of success.
“Finally, excellence in execution and delivery, as agreed, is essential to any long-term advisory relationship and to board service. With a history of ‘delivering as promised’ and a reputation for outstanding advice, I am often called on to provide high-level support and counsel to leaders around the globe. That’s the brand and that is reputation-dependent.”
Thank you for sharing, Lloyd.
You can read part 2 of the conversation with Lloyd here.
You can listen to part 3 of the conversation with Lloyd here.