Last week I posted 4 Models of Leadership Clarity. All examples were of male leaders. Although I pulled those 4 based on my research of major companies that have orchestrated change, with Clarity being a big part of that, I feel the need to add more. This post includes all female leaders.
I shared last week that although your strategy may be a smart one, no one is going to see it that way if it is not executed brilliantly. What’s often missed when moving from strategy to action is that brilliant execution can’t happen if people aren’t clear about what is needed most from them.
For people to receive your message clearly, so clearly that they understand what you are saying and how they fit, they first must have their minds and hearts open to receive your message. The female leaders I am sharing with you today, all maintain their own authentic style and they authentically care about you and others. There’s no gimmick in their ability to build others up. What I think you’ll also see and hear is that they remain authentic to themselves and to the plan for the business without taking too personally how the other person reacts. The male leaders in last week’s post do the same.
Why I call this out is that women face more stereotypes in peoples mind about how to present themselves and behave; it can be more of a challenge to be heard in the way the communication was intended to be heard. It still seems harder for many people (any gender) to accept bold moves from a woman leader and accept without harsher judgment of a women in the lead that there will be mistakes and setbacks on the journey.
The first model is Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors (GM). In this interview with CNBC, Barra shows confidence and clarity about GM’s strategy. She holds this confidence, with passion and emotional intelligence, throughout as a red-lined stock ticker is presented, followed by a chart showing the huge leap required to capture market share (author note: this market share will most likely come from an expansion of U.S demand for EV by those who currently buy gasoline-powered vehicles, and not from Tesla customers switching). I am sharing from minute 2:45 to the end (min 4:50).
The second model is Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle. She was co-CEO when she was interviewed for the video I’m sharing. Catz is a billionaire banker in addition to being a tech CEO. What you’ll experience by watching her is simply a real human who is confident in her abilities, and in the future, while being humble about herself. Being a model of confidence and humility helps create safety (empowerment, trust, respect, inclusion, etc.) throughout the workplace. And this in turn sets the stage for communication to clearly land. I am sharing minutes 13:58 -17:19.
The third model is JuE Wong, CEO of Olaplex (the interviewer is pictured in the video thumbnail; Wong will show when you hit “play”). English is not Wong’s first language, yet she has an ability to not only be clear with her words, but clear in a way that is inspiring. A related point, not shown in the video, is that Wong truly lives the brand and cares about all Olaplex stakeholders. It’s amazing to me how little known she is outside of her industry. Wong was brought in as the Olaplex CEO early in January 2020. Since then, Olaplex net sales have increased over 81%. In September 2021 Olaplex experienced a wildly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO), starting at a valuation of $1.8 billion and rising up to $16 billion, and sitting in early April 2022 at about $10 billion. I’m sharing minutes 0:46-5:48.
The fourth model is Corie Barry, CEO of Best Buy. When a leader’s purpose for being in a role and their clear purpose and vision for the company are communicated authentically, and often, clarity grows. Barry has held the CEO role for Best Buy since June 2019. In January 2020 she faced a board-directed probe into allegations of having an inappropriate relationship with another executive earlier in her career. Certainly, allegations of misconduct should be addressed internally. A leader who shows respect for those scrutinizing her, can lead through it, and have the emotional resilience to put the bigger purpose for the organization out in front, models the way of clarity. This video interview was recorded well after the probe was over, and near the end of the pandemic’s turbulence. I’m sharing minutes 0:47-1:28.
It was such a pleasure to take the time to research and share these models with you. There are so many more! If you like posts like this, let me know.