Leadership Lyceum Podcast: A Conversation with American Water Works CEO Susan Story
Tom Linquist is a partner at a leading global executive search firm. He is an expert on executive assessment and leadership development, and can be reached at Linquist@LeadershipLyceum.com.
I have had the pleasure of hearing Susan Story, CEO of American Water, speak to industry groups on numerous occasions over the last several years. Her speeches are engaging and carry power that moves an audience to action.
I realized that the persuasive power of her public speaking and her approach to leadership demonstrate quintessential qualities for effective leadership beyond the boundaries of the corporation that she leads.
A key measure of success for our industry is continuously achieving safe, clean, reliable, affordable delivery of service. These objectives are dynamic and their parameters are often dependent on public policy, legislation, and regulatory relationships.
Industry leaders, therefore, must advocate in these areas by leading and influencing beyond the boundaries of their corporations. They must lead beyond their authority.
But what is leading beyond authority? There are three types of authority, according to the sociologist Max Weber.