Stephanie Chung was one of the speakers at this year’s Global Leadership Summit. She is the Chief Growth Officer at Wheels Up, the Former President of JetSuite, and on the Advisory Council of the National Business Aviation Association. Here are some of my notes and takeaways from her talk:

  • We’ve hit a new level of low when it comes to distrust and division in the world.
  • Businesses are now more trusted than the government or the news media, which makes our business relationships quite important.
  • Leaders must learn to consciously visualize another person’s viewpoint, developing our abilities to see people for who they are, not who we’ve been told to think they are.
  • As leaders, the world is looking to us to bring stability to this emotional chaos in which we find ourselves.
  • We have been called for such a time as this. I do believe we will be like the other courageous leaders before us, that during times of uncertainty, when trust was given to them, they rose up. They understood the call. They minimized their own bias. And they made a difference for us all.

Again we heard the theme of empathy, which I’ve talked about in another recent post.

Learning to put yourself in another person’s shoes, to look at the world through their eyes and learn from their viewpoint, has become more important than ever in our world today. But it doesn’t just happen. It takes intentionality and effort. It’s a skill that can and should be developed by every leader.

Do you want to make a difference as a leader? It starts with what Stephanie Chung emphasized – seeing people for who they are, not who we think they are. It begins with defining reality as it is, not as someone else told us it was. It begins with seeing people not as cogs in a machine, not for what they do for us, but as real human beings, with hopes and dreams. As leaders, we get to invest in the lives of those we lead. Let’s be purposeful in how we do that.

I believe we’ll see a significant difference when we do.

Listen first. Ask great questions. Don’t assume. And never think you have all the good ideas, leaders.

Questions will ALWAYS take you farther than statements.

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