Tips for Millennials, our future leaders on Boards
Our Chairman, Angela Lee Loy has successfully built and shaped the outsourcing industry in Trinidad and Tobago. Aegis Business Solutions is 100% local. They have shaped the business outsourcing industry in T&T, providing a suite of business services for overseas investors wishing to set up locally as well as support local businesses to build a better business.
To add to her success, she owns three recruitment agencies, each building their area of specialisation. If that was not enough, Angela has found time to lead on several Boards and support several non-profit organisations over the last 45 years. Through these experiences, she has gained effective leadership strategies she has used throughout her career. Today, Angela offers us pragmatic leadership advice to help business owners and leaders to enhance their people skills.
Leaders be a Gentle Dictator – clear but gentle in delivery.
The importance of leadership for business owners can not be emphasized enough, especially in this pandemic where employees are looking to leaders to set the tone for the organization.
Angela calls on leaders to be clear in their decisions but gentle in their delivery. She reminds business owners to always look at the larger vision of the organization when decision making even though not every staff member may be pleased with all your decisions.
In our interview, Angela shared that leaders set the tone of the Board based on their behaviour and what they allow. For example, the productivity of the Board meeting, the evaluation of the director’s performance, and the nature of the relationship between the Board and the CEO of the company are ways in which aspects that the business owner has control over.
Directors must lead with Emotional Intelligence and with Stakeholders in mind.
Lee Loy advises directors to be lifelong learners, with special emphasis on developing their emotional intelligence as a leader. These soft skills often overshadow technical skills in relationship building. She explains that the ability to weather storms depends on their relationship with stakeholders. Angela explains that people are the heart of all businesses and directors should acknowledge this by building and maintaining meaningful relationships.
Mentorship for Millennials
‘Hard skills are the soft part, soft skills are the hard part”
Angela recognizes that for millennials to be effective on Boards, they must be mentored on soft skills and they must focus on developing their people skills. She confesses that getting the technical skills is the easy part, the challenging part is improving your communication skills, being empathetic, and so forth. She further explains with the increasing use of artificial intelligence, the soft skills of leaders will be the differentiating factor. Angela acknowledges the gap that must be filled through veterans in the business community. Hence she urges millennials to actively seek our mentors.
Lee Loy has provided top tier advice for Chairs, Directors, and millennials. For Chairs, she encourages them to lead with authority and accountability. For Directors, she commands them to be careful of the culture they are cultivating in the organization and recommends maintaining cordial relationships with all stakeholders. Finally, she pushes millennials to not be passive about their future but to go out and create networks and grasp opportunities. Think about your strategy and how you will approach this during this challenging time and develop your skills for the future
Here are some resource links to free leadership courses online:
Author: Bernice Antoine