Chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet on Purposeful Leadership
Sara Mathew, Chairman and CEO of the prestigious Dun & Bradstreet, shares her leadership philosophy and talks about how her background as CFO helped her transition into leading the growing company. Mathew describes a leader as someone who “defines reality and creates hope, [and to] also convert that hope into a new reality and do it in a way that’s very tangible” so the team can easily follow the leader. She goes on to explain leadership stems from having a purpose, that goes beyond her own self. Mathew describes her purpose as leading a company with a 170 year old legacy and guiding it to not only reach but exceed goals and achieve unprecedented success.
Leadership is often dissected by experts alike into definitive categories. Sara Mathew believes leadership is made up of values, competency, and attributes. Values are made up of factors such as integrity and ensuring you treat others with respect, and performance excellence. She goes on to break down competency into five areas she calls the “Three E’s”, envision, energize, enable, execution and the edge your firm must possess to compete in the market. Although these characteristics are essential to achieve effective leadership, Mathew believes possessing inspirational behavior through one’s attributes is what truly defines a leader, for it is behavior that is transparent to the organization. Behavior is the culture a CEO creates, and what defines the expectations for the rest of the team.
Mathew’s advice to other leaders who want to motivate and inspire is to be open to feedback, whether it be constructive or positive, and commit to doing better every day. Touching on her past experience as D&B‘s CFO, she expresses the importance of understanding the numbers, and to be very aware of your company’s investors and their involvement in the firm. Leadership is no easy role to attain nor train for, but if you are aware of your purpose and will strive to motivate others, you will grow into the role successfully. Watch the full episode on demand at The CEO TVShow now!