IoD Open House – speaker Josh Graff shares his leadership inspirations

Josh Graff

Josh Graff is the UK boss and EMEA vice-president of marketing solutions at LinkedIn. Ahead of his appearance at IoD Open House on 13 March, he talks to Director about vulnerability, role models and power networking

The best piece of advice I’ve had. “It’s better to do the right thing than be liked.” Another is: “You’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Listen twice as much as you speak.

The best speech I’ve heard is Brené Brown’s TED talk on “The power of vulnerability”. She so eloquently describes why there are tremendous benefits to being vulnerable and why it’s an incredibly important character trait in great leaders.

My favourite quote is one that’s often attributed to Oscar Wilde: ‘Be yourself – everyone else is already taken’

A top networking tip. Take five minutes at the end of every day to connect with the people you’ve met and think of how you can provide value to your existing network. You might recommend an article you’ve read or, most crucially, make an introduction to somebody else.

My leadership heroes are Alan Joyce and Dame Inga Beale, the CEOs of Qantas and Lloyd’s of London respectively, for their authentic, values-based leadership and their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

A mistake that taught me a lot. I came out to my parents at 22, but – like most gay graduates from gen Y – I jumped firmly back into the closet at work. I was nowhere near as productive as I could have been. When I finally came out, my career took off. I became more confident and formed better relationships with clients. I was so much happier. My mistake was not doing it sooner.

My next challenge. My father organises charity treks for the Teenage Cancer Trust. I have done two with him – one to Everest base camp and one to Myanmar – and would love to do more.

IoD Open House 2018

Josh Graff will be speaking at IoD Open House 2018. For more details click here

About author

Ryan Herman

Ryan Herman

Alongside his work for Director, Ryan has written for SportBusiness International, VICE Sports, Populous, Audi and Gallop Magazine and was previously editor of Sky Sports Magazine.

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