Emily Marsh January 12 2021

Why agile stakeholder management is important - an interview with Dennis Murphy

This is the final in a series of three interviews with Dennis Murphy; this instalment looks at how to engage in agile stakeholder management.

In the final of our three interviews with Dennis Murphy, we're looking at the importance of agile stakeholder management.

Dennis spent more than 25 years managing counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence programmes for the Canadian Federal Government, and now works as a consultant for Gateley, as well as being a senior Canadian liaison officer within the UK.

In this interview, Dennis tells about examples of great stakeholder management that he’s seen throughout his career; in particular, the current director of the Canadian equivalent of MI5. He has a few thousand people working for him, and even the pressure of international responsibilities in his role and his work. What does Dennis admire about the way he works? His calmness, his transparency and his ability to ask for help. It’s this open approach, as opposed to coming across as aggressive or closed off, that Dennis thinks makes him a truly outstanding leader.

When asked about the lessons he personally has learnt in the are of stakeholder management, one thing Dennis highlighted was the importance of being respectful – truly understanding what the concerns of your stakeholders are, and what they need. When we asked Dennis how he builds trust with his stakeholders, he said “I think you build trust through leading by example, you have to show a complete and total trust and belief in those who you’re working with.”

Finally, Dennis spoke about the idea of ‘servant leadership,’ an idea coined by Admiral McRaven. According to this theory, the primary responsibility of any good leader should be to empower the leaders below them. “I felt if you did that, then you would get all the buy-in in the world.”

Take a look at the video below for the full interview with Dennis.


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