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News & Blogs: Executive Leaders Forum

NEW Forum explores workplace empowerment

Monday, July 29, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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More than 300 industry executives focused on career opportunities — from thriving during workplace upheavals to cultivating valuable relationships — during eight learning sessions at the Network of Executive Women Executive Leaders Forum, held July 23-25, 2013 at Terranea Resort outside Los Angeles.

During times of change, "ask tough questions, but accept that many times the answers are still being defined," Janel Haugarth, executive vice president and president, independent business and supply chain services at SUPERVALU Inc., advised Forum attendees during "How to Win Amid Chaos and Change," one of the Leadership Circles offered at the NEW Forum. "Never allow yourself to get defensive, no matter what. Sometimes I need to totally get out of the environment  lunch in my car, the park  to recharge."

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NEW Forum participants also shared personal experiences at these other Leadership Circles: "Entering the C-Suite: Taking Your Seat at the Table," facilitated by Brad J. Davidson, president, Kellogg North America and senior vice president for Kellogg Company; "Navigating the C-Suite: Politics Is Not a Dirty Word" with Suzan Kereere, senior vice president and general manager, national client group at American Express; "Critical Capabilities for Today’s Leaders" with Nina Leigh Krueger, president, Golden Products Division for Nestlé Purina PetCare Company; "Organization Transformation: Leading Cultural Change with Aidan Tracey, president of Acosta Mosaic Group; and "Starting from Nothing: What It Takes to Fulfill Your Destiny" with by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president, artistic director at OPI Products Inc.

Davidson shared his insights on the importance of mentoring and sponsorship, saying, "Sponsors find ways to give people access,” and noting he always looks to mentor "someone who wants to advance."

Traits of a leader

Offering her thoughts on the capabilities leaders need to succeed in today's marketplace, Krueger said executives must "remain relevant and be present, approachable and aware.

"Ask three questions," she advised. "What is going right? What needs to change? If you had a magic wand you could wave to change one thing, what would it be?”

Emerging leaders often outgrow their mentors and need to find new ones, Krueger added. "You need to seek advice from people who can help you with the challenges you face today, not the challenges you face from yesterday.

"Mentorship isn’t a person, it’s a role, and you need to build it and receive it wisely.”

Saying it is time for women to forge meaningful partnerships and take greater responsibility for each other's success, Livers coached Forum attendees to map their social identity.

How a woman is raised, her economic background, size of her family and other factors have implications when forging authentic connections with other women, she noted. "Who I am may not at all be who you think I am.”

Janel S. Haugarth

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