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Execs offer advice on 'being famous' at NEW Summit

Monday, October 21, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Hundreds of emerging leaders learned how to cultivate their leadership presence at the filled-to-capacity NEW Leadership Academy supersession, Oct. 21, 2013 during the sold-out 2013 NEW Leadership Summit in Los Angeles.

Led by Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc., Deana Bishop, vice president, central region warehouse retail sales, Coca-Cola Refreshments for The Coca-Cola Company; Ginnie Roeglin, senior vice president, eCommerce and publishing for Costco Wholesale Corporation; Donna Sanker, vice president, marketing for BP/ ampm; and Teresa Turley, vice president, human resources at The Kroger Co., addressed the difficulties faced by career-minded women who lack leadership experience or visibility.

View NEW Summit photo album on Facebook

"Are you the best kept secret in your organization?” Miller asked attendees. "Be famous for something! Know what is your claim to fame.”

Miller offered insights on identifying a leadership niche, cultivating brand leadership presence and making your value visible. "What are the passions in your work life?” she asked, saying they make up an individual’s "leadership sweet spot.”

Emphasizing the importance of communicating a personal brand, Miller quoted Dr. Rohini Anand, senior vice president, global chief diversity officer at Sodexo: "Be authentic about your own leadership style. Don’t try to change it. Own it. Communicate it. Put a value on it. Put a brand on it.”

Three steps to a stronger presence

Making your value visible is a three-step process, Miller said.

  • Work less. "If you’re a hard worker, what do you attract more of?” asked Miller. "When someone’s got their nose to the grindstone, they have their head down and tail up.”
  • Work hard, but on the right projects. Look for opportunities where you can deliver results. Ask yourself, "Does this project showcase my brand? Does it demonstrate my ability to deliver valuable results?” Seek projects that sharpen business acumen and leadership skills and contribute to special projects sponsored by key executives.
  • Promote your accomplishments. Make sure your self-promotion is authentic to your brand and that you’re promoting the accomplishment rather than your person. Above all, be sure to promote only those accomplishments that you know your organization or team culture rewards.

Roeglin shared the evolution of her own brand. Early in her career, she identified as the "go-to person,” but now relates to teaching and empowering people, an important responsibility of leadership.

For Turley, "Branding is what others say about you, not what you say about yourself.”

When cultivating leadership presence, Sanker said, "in addition to what you do, how you do it is important. You don’t want to leave dead bodies on the way to the finish line.”

Added Bishop: "Leverage your strengths, leverage your personality, leverage why people want to work with you.”

Roeglin also pointed out gender differences in leadership readiness. "It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. Most men don’t worry if they’re ready, or comfortable, but most women do.”

Sanker shared the value of encouraging others’ visibility. "I don’t have to be the expert,” she said. "What I brought to the table is I asked a lot of questions. Far from a sign of weakness, asking questions allows you to learn while making others feel valuable, letting them know that their opinion matters.”

For Bishop, comfort with making your value visible comes over time. Eventually, "you should be able to talk in 30 seconds about what you’re doing.”

Turley aims for demonstrating value of a group effort, with rewards that reflect on the individual. "[There should be] a balance of talking about what my team has accomplished. What are [people] saying about the team?”

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Deana Bishop of The Coca-Cola Company, Donna Sanker of BP/ ampm, 
Teresa Turley of The Kroger Co., Jo Miller of Women's Leadership
and Ginnie Roeglin of Costco Wholesale Corporation offered
insights on cultivating leadership presence at the NEW Leadership
Academy supersession.

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