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David Lewis on Adaptive Leadership: “See Every Chance as an Opportunity”

“The only thing that is constant is change.”

That is the mantra of David Lewis, the new president of AT&T Michigan. Lewis was the featured speaker at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s recent Inside the CEO Mind event at Castle Hall in Detroit. During his remarks, Lewis elaborated on AT&T investment in Michigan and alluded to future smart cell technology that will help push the evolution of autonomous cities.

The topic was especially relevant as Michigan seeks to lead the nation in mobility and autonomous vehicle technology.

Register for the MICHauto Summit on Oct. 10 at the Beacon at One Woodward in Detroit to meet with students representing the future of the automotive and mobility industries in Michigan.

Lewis shared that AT&T is advocating for legislation for that will allow communities in its service area to provide input on the location of small cell technology installations. These new installations will help AT&T meet customer needs for faster internet and broader bandwidth at work, at home or on the road.

“The communication and technology industry is rapidly changing.” Said Lewis. “AT&T has already invested $4 billion in Michigan to develop innovative technologies and keep pace with customer demands. $650 million was invested in improving technologies in Detroit alone.”

Lewis said his role is to ensure that his employees understand “why they do what they do.” He also said that, as a leader, getting employees buy-in with the company’s vision is the one thing that keeps him up at night.

“My job is to listen to the priorities of the city and the state, and to adapt AT&T accordingly. I am responsible for making sure these needs get funneled down the pipeline and that everyone understands why this is important work.” Lewis said. He cited coordinating communication across his team as one of the most important aspects of being a strong leader.

He also emphasized the importance of listening to customer needs as AT&T continues to evolve.

“If there was one tip I could give to an aspiring leader, it is this: always keep your hand on the pulse of the community. Listen to what your customers want and respond swiftly. See every chance as an opportunity to do something great.”

Inside the CEO Mind is part of a the Detroit Regional Chamber’s member events programming. The next member event will be a lunch on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent on Sept. 27 at Greektown Casino-Hotel. This event features three local speakers who will offer strategies to address some of the most pressing talent issues affecting businesses today. Register here.