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Leadership = Creating Followship

Jerome Peribere
Former Chief Executive Officer at Sealed Air Corporation

Learning outcomes

  • The essence of trust within leadership
  • How to generate trust with employees as a leader
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Executive Bio

Jerome Peribere

Former Chief Executive Officer at Sealed Air Corporation

Jerome was CEO and President of Sealed Air Corporation, the global leader in food and protective packaging, from 2012-17 where he grew the business to over $7bn in revenue. He led Sealed Air’s transformation programme to regain position as industry leader and increased EBITDA margins from sub 10% - 15%. Jerome previously worked at The Dow Chemical Company for 35 years, one of the top 3 chemical producers globally, serving in a variety of leadership roles throughout the world. He spent most of his career in Dow AgroSciences, before serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Dow Advanced Materials, a $12 billion revenue unit of Dow serving customers in more than 130 countries.Read more

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Interview Transcript

Jerome, what does leadership mean to you?

I like a definition that I read a very long time ago, about leadership, which is the art of creating followship. In order to create followship, you need to create trust. Leadership, like followship, has nothing to do with the level at which you are. I have met some extraordinary blue collars who have created a tremendous leadership and people go to them. They are like a magnet, in the specific areas. People go to them, because they have created followship, because they have generated trust.

How do you look at generating trust?

By being honest, by listening, by being objective, by being empathic, by being what you want in the best out of people. This means people that don’t have an agenda and people who want to make the best out of a relationship and out of a given situation. It helps nothing to go and moan about the past. What is important is to take the situation as it is and move it forward. I have witnessed too many people who, over time, when there is an issue, they become defensive and they try to justify what has been done. In fact, it’s useless. It is what it is. As long as you are not going to come forward and explain the situation, as it is, we are wasting time, in terms of addressing the problem.

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