What Makes a Great Leader

Focus, confidence, integrity. Great leaders embody all three. BCDVideo President/CEO Jeff Burgess discusses what makes a great leader and offers some advice to those stepping into a leadership role for the first time.

The interview is broken into smaller segments below. Watch the whole interview or skip ahead to the section you want to see most.

What Makes a Great Leader

Jeff Burgess, 
BCDVideo President/CEO

Skip ahead using the times listed.

  • What are the most important decisions you make as a leader? (0:19)
  • How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization? (1:20)
  • Where do the great ideas come from in the organization? (2:12)
  • Which is the most important – Mission, Core Values, Vision? (3:15)
  • How do you encourage others in your organization to communicate their values? (3:50)
  • How do you help new employees understand the culture of your organization? (4:37)
  • When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire? (5:54)
  • What is one characteristic that every leader should possess? (7:10)
  • What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today? (8:12)
  • What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently? (9:02)
  • What are a few resources to gain insight into becoming a better leader? (9:48)
  • What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? (10:45)
  • What do you do to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? (11:06)

Most Important Decision You Make as a Leader

As the company grows, we’re trying to maintain our innocence. I not only look at what’s best for the company, but how will it impact my employees. There are a lot of young employees starting families. I always keep that in mind.

Encourage Creative Thinking Within Your Organization

We encourage each employee to be a leader. If there is a process that can be improved, they have the power to recommend a better way to do it. We’re always searching for ways to be better.

Everyone Needs to Communicate Their Values

It starts at the top. Aligning company and personal values is done by setting a good example for everyone else to follow. This encourages everyone within the organization to align themselves with the company’s values.

Instilling Company Culture in New Employees

We rely heavily on team members to welcome them into the BCDVideo family. New employees quickly feel a sense of belonging and people genuinely care about the work that they do. This translates well into the successful embodiment of our company values.

Choosing Whom to Hire

When faced with multiple candidates that seem equally qualified on paper, it comes down to chemistry. What does your gut instinct tell you to do? This ensures company culture remains intact.

One Characteristic Every Leader Should Possess

Thick skin. Leaders face plenty of criticism for the decisions that they make. You can’t take things personally. Being receptive to constructive criticism sends the message that you appreciate honest feedback to help grow your organization.

The Biggest Challenge Facing Leaders Today

Keeping confidential business information out of the public eye has become increasingly important in the social media era. Due to the work we do with government contractors, we cannot afford to have sensitive project details openly shared online.

Resources to Become a Better Leader

I recently read the book Building a Magnetic Culture by Kevin Sheridan. It really hits up the importance of having an engaged workforce. It only takes a few disengaged employees to slow down the entire company’s efforts.