Those of you close to me know that I am passionate about a few things in life. Two of my passions are Leadership and BlackBerry. Here and now I have found a way to incorporate these two passions into one post. Talk about #perspectivelead! I definitely was given a great new perspective on leadership and it was very awesome! I recently had the phenomenal opportunity to go to BlackBerry Live/Jam in Orlando, and as a BlackBerryElite member I was afforded some unique scenarios where I was able to talk with executives about the BlackBerry brand and how leadership within the revamped company helped to launch BlackBerry back into the spotlight. I wrote an article about my specific experience and you can check that out here. It may give you a little more insight into what being a BlackBerryElite member is along with the how amazingly fast paced each day was.
So to get back on track, BlackBerry and Leadership. How are they tied together? Simply put, without strong leadership there was a chance we could no longer even be discussing BlackBerry. It took some amazing transformational change, courage and trust in order to pull BlackBerry from what the media world was calling the smartphone abyss. It was appearing that the brand BlackBerry was becoming synonymous with terminology used in aging the devices and portraying them as irrelevant in the emerging consumer market.
Well, through it all, the BlackBerry faithful endured and were rewarded big time! With the launch of the built from the ground up operating system known as BlackBerry 10, the world was about to see what BlackBerry had been doing for the two or three years everyone was trying to write the company off as doomed. If BlackBerry Live/Jam was any indication of the strength of the BlackBerry brand, then BlackBerry is strong, relevant and emerging back into the consumer/corporate world as the future of mobile computing! One word, simple and yet immensely necessary, was, I believe, the catalyst to somersault BlackBerry back into the market; Leadership.
The CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, assembled an executive team and restructured the company in ways many initially thought were to salvage a company on the verge of extinction. His amazing leadership, in reality, was laying the groundwork for a future in BlackBerry that the world was not prepared for. Thorsten had vision, and he had the ability to get buy in from the members of the BlackBerry team through and through. Without that support, and the hard work needed to fulfill the vision, BlackBerry could have become a thing of the past.
So, I keep praising BlackBerry and its resurgence, but what about leadership? While I cannot directly talk to actual events inside the company, or specific incidents where I personally saw anything that gave me the inclination one way or another during the process, I can see the aftermath, and talk to the conversations I had, and one in particular, that proved to me that BlackBerry and Leadership were synonymous. I can also share my observations of employee interactions and treatment, and their attitudes toward the end users. These things alone gave me enough in my mind to make the connection of what good leadership looks like versus some bad leadership that I have witnessed, concurrently but in a different industry, as well.