Chameleon Leadership and the Magic of Flight with Darren Sekiguchi
Seasons leadership podcast
The women in leadership podcast

Chameleon Leadership and the Magic of Flight with Darren Sekiguchi

Season
3
| Episode
6
5/11/2022
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Learn from Darren Sekiguchi, vice president and program manager, F-35 Lightning II Production Program at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. Throughout his leadership career he has held various positions across Supply Chain, Program Management, Quality and Production Operations/Manufacturing across the Commercial and Defense Aerospace and Services industry. Join Seasons Leadership Co-Founders Susan Ireland and Debbie Collard as they talk to Darren about transitioning roles, his metaphor of chameleon leadership, listening, gaining trust, instilling self-confidence, his diversity and inclusion advocacy and more.
 
Show notes

After introductions, (3:37) Darren shares his journey from an island kid raised in Hawaii and his love of the magic of flight. Next, Darren talks about his latest career move (4:54) and how he navigates that change as a leader, assesses his environment and builds trust. Susan asks about his leadership ability (6:44) – if he was a natural born leader or did he develop it? Darren shares his passion for the journey (8:07).

The conversation moves to a central metaphor to Darren’s leadership – the chameleon (8:32). Darren provides useful examples of how like the chameleon a leader should be nibble and flexible. (9:38) He talks about how a leader should understand the strengths of their team and how they can all work together. Susan describes the metaphor as next level leadership (11:39) but challenges how someone stays authentic when working to adapt. Darren links authenticity to having vision like the chameleon’s ability to see in other ways (12:48). Through the metaphor Darren talks about the importance of using your voice as a leader – like the chameleon’s ballistic tongue (15:12), remaining on the leading edge – like the chameleon’s gripper feet (17:39) and how to help build confidence (18:37). Darren admits something he does NOT have in common with the lizard (19:40).

Next the leaders talk about how to connect and build trust with your team (23:33). Darren shares his induction process for new employees (23:57) and a strategy he uses to work on aspects of his leadership that are less strong (26:18). Debbie and Darren talk about an inspirational leader they have in common (30:34).

The group talks about the common struggle with self-confidence as a leader (32:40) and Darren offers advice centered around building a network of support. Susan asks about work week balance (37:06) and Darren shares the best development opportunity for team members (38:43). The conversation circles back to Darren’s current transition (39:34), the challenges and the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will give you honest feedback (42:18). Darren talks about what he is doing personally to get better as a leader (43:53) and more on how to build a cross-functional team (45:53).

The conversation ends with Darren’s diversity and inclusion advocacy (48:57) and Darren shares what people can do to be better advocates and allies. The leaders talk about final advice for leaders (50:04) and building a legacy. Darren shares his (51:18) inspiring one. Last, (52:23) Debbie and Susan break down the learnings from their discussion with Darren. 

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