“It is not what you do. It is what you make happen.”
Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, shared this leadership principle with me on a Zoom chat recently. It’s one useful tenet all leaders today should adopt, and it has undoubtedly taken on much greater significance as we move forward and out of a pandemic.
Dunne’s ideas on leadership were refreshing. We agreed on one central theme about today’s business landscape: after all the disruption caused by COVID-19, the recent social movements, and in a world of accelerating technology, we cannot go back to work the way it used to be. We shouldn’t.
Companies worldwide have been given an opportunity to reboot the outdated management systems that held them back for decades. “What the pandemic gave us was a space to accelerate thinking around what work gets done and how work gets done,” Dunne said.
Leaders today need to do more than respond and pivot. They need to think five years ahead to keep up. It’s why at Ferrazzi Greenlight, we created the Go Forward to Work research community in partnership with Harvard Business School to stay plugged into emerging business trends. Our research shows that today’s leaders must be radically adaptive, which is why I was so eager to catch up with Dunne.
Verizon was recently ranked #1 on the Forbes Corporate Responders top employers list for its response to the pandemic. On top of the massive undertaking of moving its 15,000 retails quickly into home-based operations, Verizon also had to contend with everyone in the U.S. moving their workforce into a home-centric posture and staying in place.