Life lessons from a doubting policeman
“We all pick up beams of light from different people on our journey that help us create our own sun” is not necessarily the quote our writer Jason expected when he headed to Canary Wharf to interview a former police leader who now works for Barclays.
But this was just one morsel in a veritable feast of good advice on life and leadership from Chris Greany, who left a 30-year police career to help keep the bank safe from data leakage and cyber criminality as Head of Group Investigations and Insider Threat.
It is simply not possible to summarise his interview in a few paragraphs – for that you’ll have to read the full story – but because we’re feeling generous, here are our five top takeaways from a man who counted Nelson Mandela as a close personal acquaintance…
1. “Anyone in a leadership position who says they don’t have doubts is not being honest with themselves: doubts are your human checkpoint.”
2. “Speaking truth to power is the toughest to do – and the hardest to receive. If as a leader you are not getting honest feedback, you are setting the wrong culture and you will miss the big issues.”
3. “Driving cultural change in any organisation is a marathon not a sprint: a bit like getting old in the mirror, it takes ages to see.”
4. “Take your work extremely seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.”
5. “Seeing the very worst humanity can offer (as a former police officer) makes you work your hardest to be a good, ethical and fair leader. These aren’t light touch leadership skills – the toughest leaders, the good ones, are kind and fair. They stand out.”