At the 2016 Symposium, a panel of accomplished C-suite leaders and board directors shared insights about moving beyond functional responsibilities into the highest roles. In a discussion led by Joanne Bauer, former President, Health Care, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and current board member of several organizations, panelists were asked what is required to be successful at these levels of leadership.
Panelists were Tanya Fratto, Joyce Russell, and Lynn Utter. Read some of their career highlights below.
Key points of advice from these successful women include:
- In every role, be sure to “over-perform” – do each job just a little better than anyone would have expected you to do.
- Talk less and act more – be a “doer.”
- “Hire slow and fire fast” – focus on talent and building great teams.
- Develop “executive presence” based on communication skills, appearance, and gravitas, also described as performance, image, and exposure.
- Take the jobs other people won’t do and get the job done.
- Build a network – a circle of friends who will talk over tough challenges with you.
- Assess the group you’re presenting to and working with – and adapt your communication to them.
- Find or develop a sponsor who will see opportunities for you that you don’t see for yourself.
- Look for honest feedback and learn from it.
- Embrace the ambition that is in you.
- Whatever your current role, understand more about the company from the CEO perspective.
Other topics they covered include how to know when it’s time to make a career change, how to move between functional and P&L roles, and how to balance the demands of work, family and community. More of their insights will be included in AWESOME’s fifth REALITY CHECK.
Tanya Fratto is Non-Executive Director at Smiths Group plc; former President and CEO, Diamond Innovations; she spent over 25 years with General Electric, including President and CEO of GE’s Superabrasives business; and is on the Board of Directors, ADS.
Joyce Russell is President, Adecco Staffing US, on the Board of the Committee of 200 and recipient of C200’s Corporate Innovator Luminary Award.
Lynn Utter is on the Board of Directors of WESCO International; former President/COO, Knoll Office; former Chief Strategy Officer at Coors Brewing Company; Board of Directors, Merchants Metals.