Are positivity and flexibility the keys to successful leadership today? Sophie Ross, Global CEO of FTI Technology thinks so. In a recent interview with Brandt Handley for his Into the Corner Office podcast, Sophie talked about her commitment to improving diversity, inclusion and belonging within the legal, technology and consulting industries, her career journey and what she believes are the keys to leading during difficult times.
The discussion covered a lot of ground, including how Sophie’s international upbringing and service in the Israeli military taught her how to stay resilient in the face of change. Throughout all her experiences, her unique leadership style was developed and refined, resulting in the five key philosophies she views as essential for long-term success. I’ve seen first-hand how Sophie’s approach drives change and growth in our organization. Her leadership pillars include:
- Mentorship: It’s important to have mentors that can offer both an inside and outside perspective, and to always remember that mentorship must be a two-way street. Leaders must remember that offering insights and feedback to their mentors is just as important as leaning on their guidance. Developing personal connections with mentors also helps reinforce and strengthen the relationship so both people stay invested.
- Collaboration: Success doesn’t happen on your own. It comes from years of working with and learning from others, and taking a team approach to solving problems. That’s why collaboration has always been inherent to Sophie’s approach. She believes that collaborating and offering engaging work are key to keeping employees motivated. This means leading from a place that invites discussion, respectful debate and sharing of numerous perspectives. In many scenarios, there’s more than one right way to do things, and by entertaining different ideas and approaches, leaders can nurture problem solving and creativity.
- Positivity: Sophie acknowledges that it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of focusing only on what went wrong. To avoid this, she relies on the power of positivity and focusing on forward movement. When teams are charged with the goal of determining what to do next, it leaves less time for dwelling on failures and shortcomings.
- Flexibility: Just like innovation, leadership is fluid. Things change and what worked last year might not work anymore today. Therefore, leaders must be willing to adapt to keep growing their business and supporting their people. With this, Sophie believes CEOs have a responsibility to be as transparent as possible and continually reevaluate the best path forward.
- Commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging: FTI Technology excels because of the unique ideas and perspectives our teams bring to client work, and that leadership recognizes that the team’s collective differences are what make the company stronger. Sophie believes leaders must bring enthusiastic support and accountability for embedding diversity as a core part of company values and culture. She’s doing her part in leading on this by working with FTI Consulting’s executives in every region worldwide to ensure alignment in prioritizing open discussions and new programs and policies across recruitment, retention, compensation, evaluations, mentoring and employee engagement.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.