In their reviews, Clorox employees cite Benno’s accessibility, his flexibility and yes, his leadership as reasons he earns top marks.
Here Benno shares some thoughts on leadership.
Leadership is about others
When I was an individual contributor, leadership was about myself: How can I be a leader and be heard?
As I’ve progressed in my career and especially now that I am CEO, the center of my attention has shifted to enabling the leadership of others.
My job is to make sure everyone’s completely clear about where we’re going, that we have all the resources we need, that we make decisions in a timely fashion and that we remove any barriers that keep us from doing the work we want to do.
Leadership should empower
I care about results, not how you achieve those results so long as it’s in accordance with our corporate values.
At Clorox, we’re all united by common values and by our strategies and goals. And I trust that people do their work in an ethical, responsible way. That frees leadership from focusing on face time or how many hours someone works or even where the work happens.
I often say leaders should focus on the “what” and the “by when,” not the “how.” We are here to set the direction of what we are trying to accomplish and in what timeframe, but I don’t want to be telling anyone how to do his or her job.
Clorox people are empowered to take ownership of their work and their results, and Clorox leaders are here to create an environment that supports that.
Leadership takes courage
No matter your role, you have to be bold and forge your own path. That requires courage.
Don’t wait for somebody to tell you how to do your job. Take ownership — of your results, and also your career.
Leadership starts with one person. It also takes one person to be the first to follow the leader. And being first takes courage.