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December 1, 2023

A Fireside Chat with Former La-Z-Boy CSCO and COO Darrell Edwards

— True leadership transforms cultures, fosters lifelong learning, and drives strategic business transformation.

The following are the main takeaways from Darrell Edward’s session at aim10x live New York City.

Leadership is about creating lasting impact:

According to Darrell, leadership means putting oneself in a position to help others through their presence and ensuring that the impact lasts even in their absence. He emphasized the importance of understanding and leveraging the unique skills and capabilities of the team to drive organizational improvement. True leadership lies in enabling the team to succeed collectively.

Lifelong learning and gathering mentors:

Aspiring leaders should embrace the mindset of lifelong learning. Darrell stressed the significance of continuously acquiring knowledge and seeking personal and professional growth. Additionally, he emphasized the value of having mentors. By partnering with individuals who can offer guidance and share their expertise, aspiring leaders can enhance their leadership capabilities and increase their chances of success.

Think big and ask critical questions:

Darrell highlighted the importance of thinking big and avoiding limitations in early career stages. Instead of compromising between different aspects of a business, he encouraged leaders to cultivate a culture where compromises are unnecessary. By asking higher quality questions and reframing challenges as opportunities, leaders can drive innovation and find solutions that benefit all aspects of the organization.

Teaching critical thinking over functional skills:

When it comes to educating the next wave of supply chain talent, Darrell emphasized the need to focus on teaching critical thinking rather than solely imparting functional skills. By fostering the ability to think critically and ask the right questions, future leaders can navigate complexities and identify meaningful insights that make a difference in the marketplace.

Building the right team and strategic framework:

Two critical success factors for business transformation, according to Darrell, are building the right team and developing a strategic framework. Getting the team composition right, aligned with the company culture and leadership style, minimizes compromises and facilitates smoother transformations. Additionally, having a strategic framework that considers global trends, market dynamics, and emerging technologies enables timely adaptation and implementation of transformation initiatives.

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