Effective leadership is an important skill to have that to some comes naturally and for others must be learned. For National Champion powerboat racer Hugh D. Fuller, leadership is at the core of everything he does. Whether he is racing on the water or at a board meeting for one of his successful businesses, Hugh D. Fuller is a rare example of an individual who knows how and when to lead. For Hugh Fuller, being a leader is more than just having people follow you. Instead, being a leader means setting an example for others, continuously working on self-improvement, and becoming a pillar of strength for your team.
Below, Hugh D. Fuller shares his thoughts on how to be an effective leader.
Setting an Example
Leading a successful team is difficult to do without first setting an example. It is vital for teams to see from their team leader what they can accomplish and become. For Hugh D. Fuller, this type of responsibility comes naturally. The energy, devotion, and quality that Fuller puts into all of his life’s work can be readily seen within the people he leads through a trickle-down effect. For example, powerboat racing, Fuller’s forte and life-long career, is not a one-man sport. Instead, he must work hand-in-hand with the throttleman to succeed in the sport.
“How can I expect my guys to give it their all during a race if I’m not doing the same? How can I think that my employees will go above and beyond if I’m not exemplifying that behavior first? It’s all about trust and communication here,” says Hugh D. Fuller.
Striving for Self-Improvement
While some leaders are naturally born, it is not always enough to rely on natural talent. Effective leaders are those that continue evolving in their leadership style and development. Developing new skills is not only effective for leaders but also gives the team a sense of clarity and direction. Hugh D. Fuller is certainly not one to rest upon his natural affinity for leadership. Fuller works with an array of teams in different settings and is able to successfully adapt his style of leadership to each.
“Self-care is important, self-improvement is vital, but so is drive. My drive leads me to want to be the best racer, the best boss, and the best person I can be,” says Hugh D. Fuller. “Continuously ask yourself how you can do better and challenge yourself to always improve.”
Supporting your Team
One of the most important aspects of successful leadership is keeping in mind your team’s individual needs. Teams that work well together are teams where every single member is supported. Much of this responsibility lies with the leader, whose role must also include fostering a culture of trust and respect within the team. As a powerboat racer, Hugh D. Fuller is no stranger to this dynamic. The trust that Fuller has garnered with his throttlemen and crew over the years is a trust which few people can claim to know.
“When we’re on the water and it’s just me and my throttleman, we form a deep bond and understanding. My throttlemen are my brothers, and the crew is no different. Whatever they need to make it work, I’m here to make it happen. Those relationships last decades,” says Hugh D. Fuller
When looking to become an effective leader, one must not only talk the talk but as Hugh D. Fuller so clearly shows, you have to be able to walk the walk. Setting yourself as an example, striving for self-improvement, and showing your team support are three pillars of leadership that cannot be overlooked. While Hugh D. Fuller experience as a powerboat racer is not one most people can relate to, his excellence as a leader can be easily translated to almost any setting.
Andrew Mitchell Hugh D. Fuller
SOURCE: Hugh Fuller