The Digicel Extraordinary Leadership Lecture series got off to a good start recently with new Digicel CEO Barry O'Brien sharing his views and insight. The momentum was maintained in July by Donna Duncan-Scott, group executive director for culture and leadership development at JMMB. Immediately at home with her Digicel audience, Duncan-Scott traced the history of JMMB, starting with its founder, her late mother, Joan Duncan, and outlined the three core values that guide that company, and her life.
Duncan-Scott, the 2001 Business Leader of the Year award winner, said the application of the three big ideas that are outlined below has transformed her personal and professional relationships.
DONNA DUNCAN-SCOTT's THREE BIG IDEAS
1. WE ALL HAVE GREATNESS WITHIN US - Quoting the famous Marianne Williamson passage that starts with the phrase, "Our deepest fear is that we are inadequate", she told staff that every human being is a gift to the world and that each one of us is powerful beyond measure. She encouraged leaders to let this "knowledge dictate how we lead by serving others, and standing for our greatness".
2. LIVE AND LEAD ACCORDING TO YOUR VALUES - She said that "leadership must be rooted in who you are and what matters most to you". Quoting Henry Kraemer, she said that this philosophy would make it easier to make decisions. To develop the point, she puts leaderships into two categories. Some are ego based. Those focus on survival and looking good, are driven by fear, and rely on their own strength among other attributes. The others are spirit based.
According to Duncan, their attributes are as follows:
Focus on possibility/creation
Driven by love
See through the stuff, to the heart
Take risks, embrace uncertainty
That last attribute had the audience nodding with appreciation.
3. GREAT LEADERS FACILITATE THOSE THEY LEAD TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES
According to Duncan-Scott, such leaders care, believe in us, and lead by example. This is how leaders get their teams to be their best selves, and to attain excellence. Under this heading, she compared leaders and managers and bosses and coaches. The breakdown between leaders and managers was particularly striking. She said managers plan, organise, motivate and control while leaders were visionaries who inspire, serve, facilitate, and coach.
One on one
The question and answer session, moderated by Digicel's head of learning and development, Jacqueline Passley, was understandably lively. Staff pinpointed colleague managers who 'build' great performance through the application of the visionary leadership Duncan-Scott described. Others queried how to get staff to live according to their values. The session ended with hugs and kisses for a guest whose thoughts resonated well with the Digicel team.
The Extraordinary Leadership Lecture series rolls on in August with Chris Barnes, the managing director of the Gleaner Company, at the lectern.