Leadership tips from Ross Kennedy, Managing Director and GM International, Liferay

Leadership tips from Ross Kennedy, Managing Director and GM International, Liferay
Caroline Baldwin   by Caroline Baldwin. Published: 30/05/2017

My approach to planning is ... Glen Robson, an visionary mentor early in my career, once told me that all complex problems boil down to a single question. The quality of your attack plan depends on how well you define that question.

My approach to building trust is complete (even socially awkward) honesty.

My secret to fostering accountability is to start with the end in mind and work backward, having them set define the path to the targets. With the purpose agreed, it’s rare to find a tremendous gap in means to achieve those ends.

My advice on managing difficult people is … I manage resources that cover 97 countries, many of which have been a political odds for centuries: culture, currencies, economies. Still, it’s rare a personal disconnect happens because your goals differ from one another, but rather that you see different paths for accomplishing an often similar result. Always start with what you have in common.

My approach to leading through change is to begin with a single, indisputable, core purpose - and return to that frequently.

My secret to ensuring I continue to grow and develop as a leader is to continually challenge myself. From taking extra courses, volunteering, and signing up for new initiatives at work I try to constantly press my limits.

The biggest challenge facing my industry today is digital transformation is taking on many different faces. From automated vehicles to predictive analytics, the way we engage the world around us is rapidly changing. This presents critical questions around data security for the industry. Recent revelations from government agencies, increased cyber threats, and the increased digital footprint each of us has, leaves the quickly emerging field of players in digital transformation exposed as they attempt to buy their way into peripheral markets and cobble together technologies. We’re fortunate that we’ve built everything in-house, minimising the downsides that come with blending a bunch of different products not originally built to work together.

The greatest opportunity available to my industry today is to turn our advances into digital transformation into a positive force for socially and economically disadvantaged populations. From making available basic education to the poorest 1 billion, to tearing down discrimination through increased exposure, digital transformation can serve as a catalyst for positive, lasting, change.

If you could step into the shoes of one person for the day, who would it be and why? Chris Hadfield, decorated Canadian astronaut. What can I say, I’m a space-nerd.