Leadership

Leadership, loyalty, and the importance of trust: Alan Fleischmann, Laurel Strategies CEO and SiriusXM host

December 22, 2021

Leadership, loyalty, and the importance of trust: Alan Fleischmann, Laurel Strategies CEO and SiriusXM host

Alan Fleischmann

Founder & CEO of Laurel Strategies and the host of "leadership Matters' on SiriusXM

We sat down with the man behind the nation’s most powerful CEOs and c-suite professionals, Alan Fleischmann, to discuss his passion for helping people.

We sat down with the man behind the nation’s most powerful CEOs and c-suite professionals, Alan Fleischmann, founder and CEO of Laurel Strategies and host of SiriusXM show, Leadership Matters. Alan discussed his early entrepreneurial days, his passion for helping people find their voice, the importance of trust, and much more. 

 

In this episode, Willy welcomes Alan Fleischmann to the show. Alan is the founder, chairman and CEO of Laurel Strategies, a global CEO advisory firm that designs comprehensive strategies on corporate communications, government affairs, crisis management, investor relations, and more. Previously, Alan was a founding principal and member of the managing board and operating committee of Albright Stonebridge Group. Additionally, he is a lifetime member of the Council of Foreign Relations and executive committee board member of the Atlantic Council. He has served on the board of the Jane Goodall Institute, Eisenhower Fellowships, and was a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He serves on the board of the American Council on Germany, the James R. Jordan Foundation, the Cal Ripken Foundation, the JUST Capital Foundation, and more. He attended American University for undergrad where he was valedictorian and student body president, and also earned his master’s degree from John Hopkins University. Additionally, he is the host of Leadership Matters on Sirius XM Radio. 

To kick things off, Alan tells the story of his father’s immigration to the U.S. from Germany and how he then became a soldier in World War II. Incidentally, he uncovered a German spy ring that had been conspiring to assassinate General Eisenhower, which became a defining moment of the early war. His father was singled out by the general himself and shared many special moments with him throughout the war. Alan’s family maintains a relationship with the Eisenhower family to this day. 

Early on in Alan’s life, he aspired to become a congressman. He soon realized, however, that he could have an even greater impact on society by teaching others how to be leaders. Helping people find their voices and amplify them remains at the core of his mission today. Shifting gears, Willy and Alan discuss grief, loss, and lessons learned. Often, it’s the people that challenge you and are willing to speak their minds that we miss the most. 

Then, Willy asks Alan to elaborate on how his show, Leadership Matters, has changed the way he asks questions. In many ways, the essence of Alan’s firm is promoting the idea of having the best questions, rather than the best answers. He emphasizes the importance of listening, asking questions, and then forming the right strategy. During his time at Albright Stonebridge Group, Alan became restless to start something of his own. The more he worked with CEOs, the more evident the need for focusing on leaders and their c-suite became. It was a major decision to move on from Albright, but the entrepreneurial bug won in the end.  

Alan is the type of person that is all-in and surrounds himself with like-minded people. Laurel’s success return is 99.9%, and they don’t make promises they won’t deliver on. He truly cares about his work and connecting with others in a way that lets them know they are understood. Additionally, Laurel really differentiates the way they understand their customers. At the end of the day, Alan strives to be loyal and trustworthy. 

Next, Alan elaborates on the role he had in determining Forbes Magazine’s list of CEO awards. Many of Laurel’s clients stepped up in big ways over the last year. This includes speaking out about racial injustice, avoiding layoffs in the early stages of the pandemic, and joining forces to ensure access and opportunity was available. He shares the success story of Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer. Despite pushback from every other pharmaceutical company, Albert insisted that a vaccine was possible within the year, and he was right. This optimism led to a push toward collaboration, investment in bio labs, and breaking down barriers in a competitive industry to produce a vaccine.

In this day and age, trust is the most important factor for relationships in business. Alan sits on so many boards himself and shares what he looks for in board members for his company. He is in the advice-giving business and is expected to share his opinions often. Having a board of his own is a way for him to receive advice from trusted people. Alan sits on the board at Morehouse College, which gives him perspective on the shifting expectations of African American colleges. First and foremost, Morehouse has taught young men to be leaders. To create the kind of society and capitalism we all want to see, it's crucial to be investing in the next generation. 

As one of the founders of JUST Capital, Alan describes the organization’s approach, which is to use definitive metrics to quantify issues in the relationship between making money and being good corporate citizens. They have even implemented a ranking system to encourage and congratulate positive actions for CEOs. In closing, Alan shares how leaders can establish trust in their own cultures in the midst of the uncertainty we face in today’s world. 

Links: 

Learn more about Alan Fleischmann
Check out Walter & Dunlop’s website.

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