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Colgate-Palmolive and NEW partner on leadership program

Friday, October 12, 2012  
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More than 100 Colgate-Palmolive colleagues learned ways to advance their careers at an executive leadership program hosted by the Colgate Women’s Network and the Network of Executive Women, Oct. 11, 2012 at the company’s New York City headquarters.

The group, who participated in person and remotely via webcast, heard from Mary Anne Gale, who retired from Procter & Gamble in 2008 after a 35-year career. Gale, author of Running for Office: How to Get Yourself Elected to the Career You Really Want, shared her insights on the importance of managing a career as if it was a political campaign and building constituents "one vote at a time.”

Know your strengths, build upon them and neutralize your weaknesses, Gale advised. Cultivate deep relationships with your boss, then with their circle of peers, she said.  

"Connect with people on their strengths and build relationships around their gifts,” Gale said. "People want to be valued and everyone has unique gifts to offer. Bosses are not perfect, so don’t judge them – instead build your relationship by tapping into their strengths.”

Gale also led a panel discussion with industry executives Sharon Eiswert, director of marketing and merchandising insights for Ahold USA; Bobbie O’Hare, vice president, business development of JOH; Maria Elisa Carvajal, vice president and general manager of Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals; and Jan M. Guifarro, vice president of corporate communications for Colgate-Palmolive, who shared their experiences developing skills to advance their own careers.

"Hard work and doing a good job are a given,” O’Hare said. "You must communicate your interest and strengths to leaders to get ahead and you need to build a network of genuine relationships at all levels of the organization. Learn from your mistakes.”

Women who want to advance in the workplace need to demonstrate strategic thinking and executive presence, Guifarro said. "Volunteer to be part of a project that will help you build and demonstrate these skills or shadow someone you admire. It is important to be comfortable in your own skin and be true to yourself and your interests. Seek feedback, really listen to it and act upon it.”

Eiswert advised the group to leverage their strengths. "Know what you are passionate about and build on those strengths,” she said. "Be willing to define success on your own terms, build trust with key stakeholders and know your limits. Look at your list of key relationships and continually invest in developing and expanding relationships.”

Carvajal urged the women and men participating in the event to "find out what energizes you and focus on creating solutions that add value in whatever you do. Build your career by making a difference and leaving footprints in the sand. Leaders need to have passion to motivate teams and good communication skills to inspire and enable great execution.”

The panelists said their own careers were full of zigs and zags and that lateral moves helped them build perspective and add value. "You are in charge of your career and only you can define success for yourself and make the thoughtful choices to live your vision,” Gale said.

Colgate Women’s Network Co-Chair Jennifer Peng joined fellow event organizer Joanne Lauckner and panelists Maria Elisa Carvajal and Jan Guifarro, executive sponsor Jim Napolitano, panelists Sharon Eiswert and Bobbie O’Hare and author Mary Anne Gale at the Colgate-Palmolive leadership program.

Nearly 100 Colgate-Palmolive associates gathered in the company’s
cafeteria for the lunchtime event.

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