Conversations on Effective Leadership

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At Inforum, we have plenty of opportunities to see many great leaders in action in pursuit of our vision of a culture that embraces women leading and succeeding.

And the importance of effective leadership has never been more important.

As we talked with female and male leaders over the year as part of our "Meet Her" and "Meet Him" podcast series, here are some of the things we've learned about effective leadership.

Be a good listener.

Sandra Gaddy, CEO, Women's Resource Center, said that although she's worked hard over time to listen well, she has found it important to focus even harder on being fully present during the pandemic to understand and guide her team. It is important to get it right, she says. It's not so important to "be right."


Catherine Behrenbrinker, founder and CEO, Symplicity Communications, believes it's important to understand your "fail forward" moments so you can learn and move forward to future success.

Encourage creative thinking.

Global talent management executive, Lynnette Collins, told us it's important to encourage creative thinking by challenging assumptions. "It's so powerful, but it requires a sense of safety and being able to think differently." She also said leaders need to know when to alter their preferred style of communication. "In times of high stress and high pressure, my default is to become more direct. ... However, this is when people need more context and time to breathe. How you make people feel matters."

Don't be afraid of vigorous debate and listen to everyone.

"You have to understand everybody's perspective. It may be the 'odd person out' whose perspectives have the most influence," according to Joan Budden, the recently retired CEO of Priority Health.

Understand the responsibilities of leadership.

Brian Kraus, Amway vice president-global manufacturing, emphasizes that transitioning to a leadership position is difficult. He offers three pieces of advice: Get used to making mistakes. Stay confident—somebody saw potential for the future in you. And it's no longer about you—it's about lifting others up and deriving satisfaction from how you make others successful rather than from what you individually drive.

To see our full lineup of podcasts, visit www.inforummichigan.org/podcasts. To learn more about us, including membership, our leadership development programs, industry groups and other offerings, contact Becky Puckett-Wood, vice president of corporate and member engagement, [email protected] or Inforum brand ambassador, Courtnai Calloway, at [email protected].

Courtesy of Inforum.


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