One Quick Question
What is your most important and defining role as a leader?
Being “the boss” has an all-buttoned-down aura, one suggesting that days are filled with all kinds of corner-office responsibilities, the kinds of tasks that insulate and isolate the big chief from those who work on the frontlines.
So, we wondered, what do these bosses think is their main leadership task? Getting financials right? Mapping out an aggressive growth strategy? Keeping stock prices up and Wall Street investors happy? By the telling of those we asked, those are important items on to-do lists, but they view their main role as the keepers of culture, rabble rousers and champions.
“What is your most important and defining role as a leader?”
vice president brand, marketing, retail, Milwaukee-based Colectivo Coffee
“Every day, I lead a collective ‘adventure’ toward excellence. Some days I’m herding cats chasing that elusive goal, and other days I’m in awe at what our brand and organization delivers to our customers and the communities in which we do business.
president/co-founder, San Francisco-based Curry Up Now
"My biggest role is to be a disruptive troublemaker. Question everything. Status quo sucks. If you don’t get better, you get worse.”
president/co-founder, FreeRange Concepts
“My role is to inspire the team to focus on the details, ignore the distractions and create remarkable memories!”
executive culinary director, Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group
"My main job as a leader is to set the example for excellence in execution, responsiveness and organization. I work hand in hand with our chefs to provide the support they need in systems management, cost control, inventory management and consistency control while giving them freedom to represent their local cuisine and to work with farmers and collaborators to support the community and provide unparalleled experiences in our restaurant outlets."
president/COO, Riverside, Calif.-based Farmer Boys Restaurants
“My role is to articulate the brand vision, help team members see how they contribute to achieving that vision and remove barriers that get in their way."
executive chef of Peppervine, Charlotte, N.C.
“My job as a leader is really mentoring the staff to grow in the business and in life. When you genuinely show that you care about them, they will succeed and
become great leaders for you.”