T-Mobile CEO John Legere says plenty of things that make us perk up and pay attention. Sometimes it’s because he’s offering a particularly insightful piece of business information. Sometimes it’s because he’s swearing. Sometimes it’s both.
In a lengthy interview with Business Insider last week, Legere spoke at length about his four years as the head of the Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier. He reflected on his leadership style and what’s working at the company, among other things.
On Wednesday, Business Insider circled back with a new nugget from their profile, in which they highlighted “two basic truths about leadership” that Legere said he shares with business school students. Get your pencils out, kids.
“It’s kind of fun at my age to go back and talk to business-school people,” Legere said. “I tell them, ‘I can summarize everything you need to know to lead a major corporation. Are you prepared to write this down?’ And then they get all ready. I tell them I can summarize how I succeed as a leader: Listen to your employees, listen to your customers, shut the f*** up, and do what they tell you.”
The next piece of advice sheds a bit more light on how Legere operates as CEO — as a leader who embraces social media, readily trashes the competition and promotes the hell out of what he and his company are offering that’s unique.
“Then I say that the genius of the marketing strategy that we’ve had in every company that I’ve ever been in is that if you ask your customers what they want and you give it to them, you shouldn’t be shocked if they love it. … I think this job at T-Mobile has more than anything else helped me really see and understand how to set a strategy, communicate like crazy, and then passionately lead from the front of it.”