On 11th September 2001, people working on the trading floor of this international bank’s London HQ were traumatised by the terrible events taking place in New York. Many of their colleagues across the ocean were affected and some employees were even making calls to the Twin Towers at the time of the attack. In the months and years afterwards, one senior manager asked the question: “What should I have done in those moments?”
“There are thousands of books on leadership,” says Thom. “But they count for nothing if you can’t relate the material to the real life situations business leaders face everyday.”
Armed with this simple insight, Thom began the process of rebuilding the executive’s confidence in his leadership skills. In particular, he addressed the decisions made on 11th September with a view to establishing an important truth applicable to many business situations: There is no right answer.
“Being a strong leader isn’t about being perfect,” insists Thom. “It’s about having the courage to take tough decisions in tough times. People look to you to show them the way. Reaching for a textbook on leadership doesn’t inspire confidence. You have to rely on your own judgment and follow it through.”
At the end of their time together, the bank’s executive felt at ease with his handling of those devastating events. More importantly, he realised that replaying the day to see what he could have done differently was useless.
“Ultimately, he did what every good leader must do,” says Thom. “He made a decision and he made it work.”
Our work together really helped me. I came away with a greater sense of balance and feeling a weight had been lifted. You helped me get through difficult times enabling me to emerge all the wiser and backed up by a team full of newfound confidence. Thank you.”
Senior Commissioning Manager