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Michael Moskowitz, CEO, director and a founding partner of NorthStar Gaming, joins Effective Partnership Strategies class.

Michael Moskowitz, CEO, director and a founding partner of NorthStar Gaming, visited the Effective Partnership Strategies class to discuss leadership. Michael’s rich background includes executive positions at multiple, well-known consumer electronics companies, including previously serving as Chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America. Michael and his team recently took NorthStar Gaming public on the TSX Venture Exchange in Toronto, and we opened the class by showing Michael ringing the opening bell of the Exchange that very same morning.

A required course in the M.S. in Human Capital Management (HCM) program, the Effective Partnership Strategies for Human Capital Management Solutions course reviews the various approaches to corporate strategy and development that companies use with an emphasis on business partnership.  Students will look closely at a range of complex business scenarios while working to develop the knowledge, competencies, and communication skills necessary to take on the role of strategic business partner/consultant.

Michael set the stage for his talk about leadership by emphasizing the importance of foresight, “looking beyond the immediate environment (and considering) the unspoken needs of the business.” He also described his passion for growth and “winning” and, as a leader himself, shared that “there are so many mistakes that you make along the way and while we all like to win…the journey to get there is not always a simple one.”

How to win?

  • Build teams: “See people develop and mature…challenge them with new, broader roles…seeing them grow and develop and take on new roles is really encouraging!”
  • Communicate: “Critical communication, especially during changing times, is really important - your strategies, your goals, your KPIs. How do you evaluate the business? The more you communicate, the more individuals and teams rally behind (the business)… Empathetically understand that (challenging) situations do not just involve your business but also ‘life in general.’ Over communication is not a problem.”
  • Listen: “It’s not an easy thing to do, especially when you're always trying to solve for things… But it's so critical that you listen. Digest what others are saying, try to understand their viewpoints and their opinions because that will make you a better individual and a better company. The outcome of your decisions will be better.“ 
  • Work hard: “Rolling up your sleeves and working with anyone, anywhere, is critical to success.” 
  • Take accountability: “It's important that you always take accountability for your actions and responsibility. You know there's lots of wins, as I mentioned, and those are fun, but there's also lots of failures… Leaders take responsibility for those failures, regardless of the outcome.  It's really important for the team to also understand that you've got their back in those particular cases. And give credit to individuals who deserve it.” 
  • Hire top quality talent – “Hire the best of the best… collaborate with individuals and then take your hands off the wheel so you can go and be more strategic.”
  • Keep an open mind: “Everybody gets hung up on things, or gets obsessed with issues… and you may even convince yourself that you're right… You may make a wrong decision because you're not looking at the broader scope of things or not listening to others… Encourage everybody to really hear, and consider, different perspectives… and, if you practice that over time, the outcomes will be quite a bit different.” 
  • Focus on Culture: “Cultures are a really tough thing to change… I'm not saying it can't happen... but I would say that It's much easier to set the culture early when you have the opportunity, rather than trying to get it on the back side.”

What a treat and valuable learning experience – a rich and open talk by a passionate, committed business leader!