By Jacqueline Frost with Elizabeth Bradford
In the first episode of Finding Your EPIC, host Jacqueline Frost sits down with Elizabeth Bradford, Managing Director, Wholesale Banking of HSBC Hong Kong. They discuss the immense power of collaboration and how we can leverage it, the benefit of using emotional resilience in competitive environments, and the successful way in which she approaches every interaction.
For the full conversation, Finding Your EPIC is available here.
The Future is Collaborative
For Elizabeth Bradford, collaboration is more than just a skill – it’s a way of life.
Elizabeth: “I actually learned at a fairly nascent age that I would get much further, and we would get much further as a collective if we harnessed the talents of different people and then had a shared objective.”
What is especially interesting about Elizabeth’s story is that her unconscious approach to collaboration – which started as young as age six – means that her journey to senior leadership was unique.
It’s rare to come across someone in a senior leadership role who is wired for collaboration as opposed to competition. Most people view those around them as their direct competition, rather than people they can learn from and grow with.
Elizabeth foresees this attitude changing as we move into an increasingly collaborative and inclusive era. There’s less room for direct competition: the age of collaboration is here, and leaders like Elizabeth are spearheading the way.
Building Diverse Teams
An increasing emphasis is being placed on building cognitively diverse teams in business. And as Elizabeth warns, the businesses that want to avoid being case studies on what not to do need to be adaptable and empathetic.
Elizabeth: “[You have to be able to] step back, take someone else’s worldview and do a bit more work around understanding perspective. Maybe you have to come to an agreement as a leadership team that may not have been your chosen direction, but you have to be able to come out of those conversations with one direction and put the enterprise ahead of your own interests. The organisations that can do that will absolutely thrive as we’re going into this even more accelerated pace of change.”
What makes Elizabeth’s insight into the power of collaboration so uniquely insightful is her emphasis on boundaries. While words like vulnerability, adaptability, and empathy are an important part of her vocabulary, Elizabeth highlights the other side of her approach to life and to business: assertiveness.
The way in which she combines the two is truly inspirational and undoubtedly responsible for her highly successful career and the senior leadership role she holds with HSBC today.