Management: The Scott Beardsley Approach

28 July 2017

By Jay Hodgkins

On a recent trip across Asia from Singapore to China to Japan, University of Virginia Darden School of Business Dean Scott Beardsley spoke to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai about leadership. In a Q&A published by the Shanghai chamber, Beardsley reflects on his time as a manager at McKinsey & Co., what it takes to be an effective leader in different contexts, and some of his favorite leaders and leadership books.

Is there a leadership style that you believe works more consistently than others? And if yes, can you describe it?

If you are leading in a global context, you need to be global yourself. If you are leading in a very local context, be it in my village in rural Maine, or in rural Alaska where I grew up, that’s different from leading in rural China. But if we’re talking about the business world, I think there are leadership characteristics that are universal and transcend all situations: emotional intelligence, problem solving ability, helping people find their meaning, aligning people behind your vision, fairness, empathy, having integrity and trust.

If you’re talking about style, introverted or extroverted for example, then I don’t think just one works. Great leaders have different personalities; some can be more intellectual, some can be more inspirational. Again, it depends on the context, but you do need the basics.

Read the full Q&A with the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

East Asia, Asia-Pacific
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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