Having great leadership inside of an organization is critical. An organization can succeed or fail based on how it is lead. I’ve had some great discussions on the podcast over the years on this topic of leadership and today I’m sharing a few of my favorite clips.
Garry Ridge is the President and CEO of WD-40. Garry knows a lot about leadership as he has been a leader inside of WD-40 for over 30 years in various roles including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He also co-authored the book “Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy called “Don’t Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A”.
Garry defines his role as a leader as “taking care of people” and he believes wholeheartedly in the concept of servant leadership. He says, “As we stand as leaders, it’s our job to ensure that we have a viable strategy, we have a business model, we have resources, we have goals, we have all of the things that it takes to have a business that can perform. Once we’ve done that, we become the servant. And it’s our job then to help people step into their best personal self every day”
It sounds simple, but there are a lot of people who do not lead this way. Why? Garry says it’s because a lot of leaders are afraid to admit they don’t have all the answers, they are afraid of giving their people a lot of responsibility, and then cannot allow empathy to prevail over ego.
Kimberly Samon is the Chief Human Resource Officer at Weight Watchers, now known as WW. She has been in the HR space for over 20 years, but she is just as passionate about HR as she was the day she started. Weight Watchers is evolving and modernizing and in my interview with her back in February 2018 Kimberly explained how they went from an industry in turmoil to one that is thriving.
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When it comes to the future of leadership Kimberly believes it needs to be less about command and control and more about giving people a purpose and helping them understand the impact they are having on the organization and the customers. People want to follow someone they trust and believe in, not someone who sits up at the top and barks out orders.
She also feels that data will play a huge role in the future of leadership. She says, “We sit on a tremendous amount of data that can be so powerful to our consumer particularly as we refine our approach on personalization. We have a saying here that consumers want us to “show me that you know me”. How do we take all of this data and really turn it into something that is personalized to the consumer, to our members? From my perspective, I’m thinking through the same on how do we do the same for our workforce? Is there a world in the future where everyone doesn’t have to have the exact same benefits or everyone doesn’t have to have the exact same work schedule? I don’t know we haven’t done a lot work on it but I do believe with the advent of all the data analytics we can craft some pretty specialized programs not only for consumers but for employees alike.”
Clay Johnson is the EVP and Chief Information Officer at Walmart and Jacqui Canney is the EVP and Chief People Officer at Walmart. With over 2 million employees, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world, so as you can imagine it is a huge challenge to be able to retain, train and upskill that big of a workforce. One of the things we touched on during the podcast interview back in December 2018 was how leaders can balance shareholder value and doing what’s right for the employee.
Clay and Jacqui both agreed that treating your employees well and equipping them with the tools and resources they need have a direct correlation with shareholder value—they aren’t two separate issues.
Jacqui says, “What drives us is that shared value concept and having our associates have the benefits, the training, the education, the wages that are market relevant in leading in many ways that’s how we differentiate as winning. So we talk about our people make the difference that’s absolutely what we believe and I think that you’ll see that people talk about companies and they say our people are our asset. Our people are our company and investing in our people is investing in our company and I would say if you look back at our results, since we made that public announcement around where Wall Street kind of dinged us on the share price our results continued to climb and I do believe because we are providing a better customer proposition but that’s because our people are better equipped with the tools, the education, the training that they need to serve the customers whether it’s online or in the store”
What You Will Learn In This Episode:
●How Tracy Reinhold became the Chief Security Officer at Fannie Mae and what he attributes his success to
●How Peter Walmsley addresses employee engagement and performance reviews at GSN Games
●How the leadership model at Lego has changed and why
●Why focusing on shareholder value alone is a bad thing
●How to get leaders and managers to buy into change
●What skills and abilities WW (Weight Watchers) is looking for in leaders for 2025 and beyond
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