Flicking through my old notes recently I was reminded of having the good fortune to have Greg Dyke speak at one of our events back in 2005. At the time he had recently released his book – Inside Story – and we were lucky enough to have him share his inspirational comments on leadership and his time at the BBC. You may remember that Greg left the BBC controversially and his departure was followed by unprecedented scenes of ‘mourning’ by the employees. Thousands turned out in protest with many reduced to tears, prompting the question for other CEO’s “Would they cry for you?” In most cases, I’m pretty sure the response would be “probably not.”
Listening to Greg speak, was not only inspirational but also emotional and frustrating. Why? Well emotional because Greg comes across as a very straight guy and what he says comes straight from the heart. Despite a quite conservative presentation style compared to many on the speaker circuit, he captivates and you feel right there with him when he shares the experiences of life at the BBC, both good and bad.
Frustrating because, as he talks through those experiences and what he did about them, and also his key lessons on leadership you can’t help but hear the voices in your head screaming “I know, I know!” Of course, it’s all common sense, and Greg seems genuinely at a loss as to why more organisations/CEO/senior executives seem to miss the point when it comes to people and engagement.
When asked why he thought “more people don’t get it” his answer, which was preceded by a long silence, concluded that it was a mix of greed and ignorance. Not a great write up at the time but who could have imagined that the greed and ignorance in question would go on, 4 years later, to have such a damaging effect on the world economy.
There’s a guy who’s ahead of his time…