Collector - April 2021 - 34

BUSINESSOPERATIONS

Ask the Experts: 
Leadership Superpowers 
We asked three ACA International award winners
how the pandemic changed the way they lead. 

" What skills did you develop
or strengthen in the last
12 months? "
TOM STOCKTON, IFCCE, CEO, 

The CMI Group. Winner of ACA's
2020 James K. Erickson Continuous 
Service Award.

  " I have, what I consider, the best
management team in the business.
They know how to get the job done and
they are capable of being accountable for
results. I let them do their jobs without micromanaging them. They
make their own decisions about how the job gets done, within the
context of our culture, budget and commitment to our clients. I hold
them accountable for results not doing it my way. The last year has
proved the wisdom of that delegation leadership skill. Within two
weeks of the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we had over 500 people
working from home. We never skipped a beat. We served our clients
well and we continue to do so in this new paradigm. I'm convinced
that had I micromanaged or otherwise not trusted my team to
do their jobs, we would not have had the success we've had. We
continue to grow our business, and we did that by engaging the
brain power of our entire team. "  

LESLIE BENDER, IFCCE, senior counsel,

Clark Hill PLC. Winner of ACA's 2020 All-In
Award and Fred Kirschner Instructor
Achievement Award. 

" 2020 was a key year for testing all those
leadership skills that relate to being
good at change. Had you told me in
February 2020 that traveling for business
was going to come to an abrupt halt and I'd have the privilege of first
working with a talented and dedicated compliance team via Teams
and Zoom and then the privilege of joining an incredible global law
firm and still conducting business via Teams and Zoom, I wouldn't

34

have believed you. I'm grateful for my peers and former team at BCA
Financial who immediately adapted to virtual calls and meetings at
all hours to engage and re-engage with each other and to assure the
needs of our health care clients and workforce were understood and
met. Working with folks who are so incredible at change makes it
easy to lead and to navigate uncertainty. "  

DEBRA CISKEY, IFCCE, executive vice

president, CACi. Winner of ACA's 2020 Fred
Kirschner Instructor Achievement Award. 

" Anyone in a leadership role has the
responsibility to mentor. To me, this means to
teach and develop people so they can perform
to their greatest capacity. During this
pandemic, I took a new position and have had
the opportunity over the past 10 months to teach and develop people
who work with me both directly and indirectly. With remote working
the norm, I have found that I have had to strengthen my listening skills
to catch meaning that would normally come through facial expression
and body language. Phone, chat and even Zoom calls don't substitute
for working side by side with someone. You can't always catch the
subtleties of communication in a phone conversation. Because
helping someone feel heard is an important part of their professional
development, I have worked hard to strengthen my listening skills
by slowing down conversations and asking clarifying and probing
questions. Seeking confirmation that the message has gotten across
correctly is also an important part of that process. "  

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector - April 2021

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