Darby Vannier | Being and Developing an Indispensable Leader


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Darby Vannier would never have imagined his career could have taken him through human resources, operations management, coaching and so much more. He certainly never dreamed the experience could be gained in industries as diverse as movie theatres, print and copy, and even alpaca livestock.

Through his diverse experience Darby observed effective and ineffective business leaders. People are naturally more inclined to be either a manager or visionary but, as further explored in his book “The Indispensable Leader”, the two are never mutually exclusive. Most people are naturally stronger in one than the other, but the best leaders strive to have a mix of the best characteristics from each and to play down or let go all less desirable characteristics. Indispensable Leaders exhibit traits within the intersection on a Venn diagram, having pulled in desirable and let go undesirable traits and tendencies of both visionaries and leaders.

Becoming indispensable requires active effort – observation of others with characteristics you need, surrounding yourself with good people to provide honest feedback while you develop strengths and eliminate weaknesses, and intentionally changing habits that need to go or be learned. Progressively moving through unconscious to conscious incompetence, and on to conscious competence to attain unconscious competence of the indispensable characteristics.

It is necessary to guard against the inclination, under stress, to revert to your natural tendency. Lean on strong trusting relationships to help you “see and correct”, and manage excessive stress by controlling what you can control and letting go what you cannot. As a leader it is your task to encourage and coach people to develop their indispensable leader characteristics; be aware of your own impact and role as you shift someone’s career.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Darcy’s four-point advice for all leaders.
  • What are the best and worst characteristics of each of visionaries and detail-oriented managers.
  • Stories: Movie print flying around a projection booth. Petitions lobbying for your removal during a major event you are hosting. A food service managers demanding sick employees attend work sick.
  • Learning through experience and the way leaders model and develop behaviour in their team.
  • And more.

Mentioned in this episode:
Be Indispensable Website

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