5 Leadership Tips from Chevron CEO John Watson

By Tomas H. Lucero

As head of one of the main energy companies, Chevron CEO John Watson has a bird’s eye view on the business of leadership. As Chevron endures the current plummeting of oil prices, these are the leadership cues that help him keep it all together.

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1. Respect your workers: The average employee comes to work with good intentions and if you ask the right questions they’ll provide answers to solve important problems.

2. Listen: The importance of listening can never be overemphasized. In our rush to solve a problem or to meet a deadline, sometimes we can’t shut up. Talking can give us a sense of efficacy. If you stop and listen to people who know what they’re talking about though, you can learn a great deal.

3. Hire people who are interested in your business, want a career in your business and are drawn to your values: Take the time to vet a prospective employee to make sure he fulfills all these criteria. Don’t be misled by the image of a great potential employee—a slick résumé, a perfect interview—get the real deal: someone ready to go to the mat for your business.

4. Do your homework as a job hunter: As you think about your career path, pick an industry you are genuinely interested in. Once you identify a company you want to work for, ask as many questions about it, and the people within it, as you can. As much as possible, become an expert in the company. Then you’ll know if you want to devote your life to it.  

5. Learn how to put the fire out, not just identify it: In business and in the world beyond, identifying the problem is only half the battle. Going the extra mile means proposing solutions. Even if you don’t get it right the first time, you are bound to learn in the process.

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These tips are gleaned from a Forbes interview of Mr. John Watson.

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