Boyden’s CEO and Global President, Trina Gordon, joins us in the Pod to discuss her career, the challenges she’s faced and her journey with Boyden so far.
In this episode of the Boyden Leadership Matters podcast series, Allan Marks and Alun Parry of Boyden Australia, are joined by Boyden World Corporation’s Trina Gordon. They discuss the challenges she has faced to date, her advice to those looking to progress their careers and more.
Our discussion with Gordon opens on the topic of her current role as Boyden’s President and CEO. Gordon comments on the size of Boyden globally, as well as her role within the organisation.
“As President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation, I’ve had the distinct honour and pleasure of working with our partners to guide our firm into the next evolution of our business.
“As a private partnership, we are one of the top ten talent advisory firms in the world. We now have 65 offices around the world and nearly 1,000 Associates.
“I work exclusively with our Board of Directors, Practice Group Leaders and our Managing Partners in taking the firm forward.”
Gordon believes that there are several challenges currently facing our industry around the world.
“There are a number of challenges facing the Executive Search profession. There is a level of competition that precludes no business entry into our industry. As a result, maintaining relevance to our clients is very important.
“There is an increased demand for making our clients’ lives very efficient with respect to understanding their business, the transfer of knowledge amongst a global partnership and making sure we serve them well around the world.”
Gordon believes that when it comes to progressing your career, there is some key advice that helps, whether your goal is to stay within one organisation or to move on elsewhere.
“Find a mentor that will help and develop your career. I think that’s vital, whether you’re planning a long run in an organisation or both internal and external progression. “
“I think challenging yourself is really important, being able to not necessarily only see the next role but the one beyond it; and if you’re comfortable it’s time to challenge yourself again.”
On the topic of career progression, Gordon gives her advice to those moving into a leadership role, and how to alter any potential negative perceptions of your abilities.
“To me it’s about outreach; excellent listening skills to make sure that if there are emotions involved, if there are perceptions around your leadership skills, or project management skills, then the best way to break them down is to be a little more assertive around you driving the relationship [with your colleagues] and driving the conversations.
“Asking questions of your colleagues, whether it is someone you work for or work with, is a very strategically important way in which you can break down potential barriers that may exist, or perceptions that may – not necessarily inhibit you in an organisation – but that may hold you back from a leadership perspective.”
Gordon also comments on some of the challenges she has faced in her career to date, citing one of the most prominent of these as her transition into her role as Boyden Worldwide’s CEO and President.
“When I came into the role, one of the first immediate leadership challenges we had was to determine what kind of firm we were going to be coming out of a global recession.
“It was a very important first lesson in being assertive about a belief we had – that was well-documented, around how we needed to change and what we needed to do, and the steps we’d need to take.
“The ever-important way that success is achieved when you develop a new strategy, particularly in a global partnership, is the ability to get people to believe and stand behind it.
“I’ve always been a believer that an organisation never really succeeds on a hierarchical basis, it really succeeds by having, in particular, partners in a private partnership who are able to feel part of the movement.”
Professional development is still a key concern for Gordon, and she also touches on what her ambitions are in her professional life.
“What I’d like to do more of is spend time amongst my partners, with their clients with opportunities to evaluate our brand and markets and meet our teams and learn what interests them and what they need from Boyden. I think that would make our firm better, understanding how we can better serve our clients around the world.”
In our full discussion with Gordon, she further discusses her role within Boyden, as well as delving deeper into the challenges she’s faced as a leader, and the advice she’d give to her younger self. You can listen to the full interview here.