Forum draws 200 senior industry leaders
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Some 200 industry leaders took a crash course on executing
strategy and making their visions come to life at the fifth annual Network of
Executive Women Executive Leaders Forum,
July 19-21, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
The by-invitation event, held at the Terranea Resort,
featured cpg/retail industry standouts who shared their personal experiences
and insights, including Michael Bender, executive vice president of Walmart
U.S. and president of Walmart West, and Craig Herkert, president and CEO of
Bender urged attendees to be humble and listen to their team
members, to keep learning and keep their work and personal lives in balance.
"As much as I love what I do, I won't let it be my sole identity," Bender
said. "I'll always give 110 percent to my career, but I cultivate my
personal interests -- family, friends and many other things -- so I can be
Herkert shared "Ten Business
Lessons I Learned by Heart,” noting it is "vitally important to be wildly
aware" of customers' ethnicities and religions and what they're shopping
for. "You have to take the time to appreciate people," he said.
Leaders "set the tone,” Herkert told the mostly female
audience. "You've got to make people excited about where they work. You must
build enthusiasm for your strategy, make it fun to come to work. Show you care.
Every name on the org chart is a living, breathing person.”
Sally Helgesen, author of The Female
Vision: Unlocking Your Real Power at Work, explained how women can achieve
top leadership positions. She was followed by a roundtable of top executives
who covered women and board service, steering both company and career in a new
The Forum's also offered three concurrent educational
sessions and an opportunity for peer learning.
Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the AOL
Huffington Post Media Group, told a mostly female audience at the NEW Executive
Leaders Forum here to "be fearless--women’s leadership is more important than
"Leadership is about seeing the iceberg before it hits
the Titanic," she said in her closing keynote address. "We as women,
as mothers, have gotten used to looking for the trouble ahead. There's
something about that instinct that makes us special,” she said. "If Lehman
Brothers had been Lehman Sisters it might still be around.”
"The key to leadership is how we react to the bad things that happen each
day,” Huffington said. "It's not really about preventing bad things from
happening but how we choose to respond," she says. "The more I've
taken care of myself, by getting sleep and clearing my head, the better I am at
reacting to the bad things."
Forum Chair Catherine Lindner, vice president of retail marketing for Walgreen
Company, emceed the conference. Joan Chow, executive vice president and chief
marketing officer for ConAgra Foods, was the Forum's executive advisor.
Walmart's Bender urges leaders to listen and learn
Supervalu CEO says diversity makes teams smarter
‘Be fearless,” Huffington tells Forum women
Blogs from all sessions
Executive Leaders Forum photo album
NEWTube video highlights