Taking on the Role of a Utility Player, The Importance of Agility in a Leader - In conversation with Barry G. Moss

Talking Trends
3 min readSep 6, 2023

Today we are in conversation with Barry Moss. With over 30 years of experience as a senior advisor and business strategist, Barry delineates the importance of stepping into the role of a utility player, one who can wear multiple hats and possesses a growth mindset, to become an effective leader.

Barry, you mentioned being a utility player. This interesting sports analogy describes someone who can play several positions competently. Similarly, you are able to fill multiple roles in a corporate setting. Tell us more about this ability, how you use it to your best potential, and how you have developed this skill over the years. As a leader, why is it important to be able to do everything, even if it is outside your job description? How did this aid you in advancing your career? How is this skill relevant to boards and PE companies?

“The advantage of being able to wear multiple hats and being a utility player is that it gives you a perspective that is otherwise hard to cultivate. Understanding the responsibility of different roles and what it takes to be good in them in any environment allows you to take a step back and assess what needs to evolve and change for the company’s growth. This level of insight is advantageous to a PE firm when it buys into a company and tries to rationalize costs and increase productivity and revenues. This macro perspective adds much value and can quickly make a difference since one can effectively implement a successful plan over 90 days instead of spending significant time trying to learn the company’s inner workings.

“This perspective of knowing the different roles in a company and how they all interact is especially important for boards and their members. It allows for pinpointing exactly where change is needed, where mistakes are being made, where to allocate funds, etc. Knowing where to invest your capital will exponentially help the business grow efficiently and productively. Understanding the different roles is vital to that. For example, do you need to bring on that sales manager, or is it more important to bring on the supply chain expert to help you on the costing side? It is also helpful in understanding what committees are required to cover all critical areas of a board’s duties.

“The key to cultivating this type of insight is the willingness to try new things and to step in where there is a need. Many people are afraid to try new things because they are afraid to make mistakes. The willingness to take on extra roles even though it will initially be uncomfortable will allow for growth and more opportunities.”

Thank you, Barry, for your wise insights.

Connect with Barry on LinkedIn.



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