Leadership with Richard Stokes, Technology Director EMEA at Tech Data

Richard Stokes, Technology Director EMEA at Tech Data, entertained GBSB Global Business School Barcelona Bachelor of Business Administration students with a thorough presentation on leadership in the time of crisis and disaster on Tuesday 29th November 2016 on the GBSB campus. Covering the impact crisis has on business, how to manage crisis, and understanding what actions can be made to navigate the situation were themes addressed.

With over 25 years in management experience at companies like Accenture, Transcom, and Allen & Overy, from London to Barcelona, Richard Stokes drew upon his wealth of experience to provide a summary of how leaders should activity approach adversity.

A leader can provide added value to a situation or derail it entirely based solely on their approach. This is an outline of how to manage misfortune appropriately in business.

1. Be the Leader: Show Up and Take the Lead
2. Assess the Impact: Get to the Bottom of the Issue
3. Communicate Effectively: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?
  • You do not need to have all the answers at once.
  • Tell the facts, and communicate the next steps.
  • Understanding the reasons why are not important until after the issue is resolved.
4. Understand Timelines: Communicate Deliverable Objectives and Be Accountable
5. Build the “A” Team
  • In times of crisis everyone is available.
  • The leader does not ask, but rather tells employees politely what needs to be done.
  • Thinking outside-the-box is imperative.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
6. Have a Plan: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” -Mike Tyson
  • Having a plan is a great reference tool, but in times of emergency it is best to think proactively, improvising when necessary, to quickly fix the problem.

GBSB Bachelor of Business Administration students were asked to watch a short clip from Pulp Fiction demonstrating this strategy effectively. Students found this lecture engaging and was appropriately geared toward the topics they were covering in class. The modern approach utilizing various medium stimulated their minds and sparked a very dynamic question and answer session about what it takes to be a successful leader.

In his closing remarks, Richard Stokes told BBA students the biggest take away in life, from his experience, is that to be an effective leader you must be dedicated to continual growth by staying relevant, constantly improving, and learning.

The Bachelor of Business Administration degree from our international business school was created to be a multicultural program in Barcelona for those international students who are looking to develop a solid base of understanding regarding the numerous core business concepts. During the academic year, GBSB Global Business School organizes various workshops with invited business leaders and industrial visits to local Spanish and international companies in Barcelona. These activities are organized with an objective to go beyond academics and attain practical business knowledge.

By Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager

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