20 key attributes of highly successful leaders – lessons from Walt Offen – part 2

In part 2 of this interview with Walt Offen, we cover:

  1. Having courage to speak up in all settings
  2. Listen carefully to others; ignore rank within the company
  3. Instituting any new rule or policy must affect the leader equally
  4. Grab opportunities when they come your way, even if you do not feel ready.
  5. See the issue from other’s perspectives
  6. Understand, appreciate, and celebrate diversity of thought, personality, skills, and beliefs
  7. Always strive to get better and help those around you
  8. Do not take “we’ve always done it that way” as an acceptable answer
  9. Be a solid role model
  10. Develop self-confidence; be able to laugh at yourself

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As an ending, here is an inspirational message on Jeff Bezos’ refrigerator (Ralph Waldo Emerson):

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

And remember, leadership is not only for senior management, not only for people-managers.  Developing leadership skills is important for all employees at all levels in order for your organization to become World Class.

About Walter W. Offen, PhD

Distinguished Research Fellow

Global Head of Statistical Sciences


Walt is currently Distinguished Research Fellow.  He heads up an organization comprised of Statistical Innovation, Safety Statistics, and Non-Clinical Statistics.  He received his PhD in statistics from the University of Florida in 1980. His career began at Eli Lilly, spanning 31 years.  He joined AbbVie in 2012. His interests include novel clinical trial design and analysis, Data Monitoring Committees, and multiplicity.  Walt was inducted as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2007.

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