Communicate and be curious, advise Britain’s top black business leaders


‘Seek out and listen to other opinions’

Gnilane Gueye-Turpin, executive director at JP Morgan
Leaders are not superheroes and we all need to be adaptive and continuously look to better ourselves. As a technology leader, there are some fundamental traits that are important to me.

The first is trust. Relationship building is crucial and, for me, one of the biggest factors of a strong relationship is trust. We need to spend time together to ensure trust exists across all levels of our organisation. Trust fosters strong camaraderie and collaboration.

Second, keep an open mind. Seek out and listen to other opinions. You may think you have the best solution already, but there are always people out there with innovative ideas.

It’s also important to listen and understand. We never know the extent of stress and challenges every individual has to deal with in his or her daily life. Taking the time to listen to your team and making them feel safe is critical.

Finally, maintain work-life balance. We work in a fast-paced and constantly evolving environment, so it’s very important that my team and I get our work-life balance right. A good social life can be a boost to someone’s workplace performance.

‘Be what you want staff to buy into’

Kyle Williams, managing director and senior counsel, legal department, Goldman Sachs International
How can one be a great business leader today? Less words and more actions. Leaders first need to be what they want others to buy into, so making your vision into your action is the best way to demonstrate strategic direction to those in your organisation. 

Want to promote more efficient communication amongst teams? Introduce a new technology or way to save time communicating – and use it personally. Want diverse teams? Personally hire or promote deserving diverse people to do important things. Want more innovation? Openly push an idea and when it’s clear it’s a failure, celebrate it and talk about what you learned from the failure.


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