FOLLOW YOUR COMPASS, NOT THE CLOCK

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FOLLOW YOUR COMPASS, NOT THE CLOCK

Attending conferences offers to a great opportunity to meet and hear from people from around the world and different sectors. At the recent at the 2015 International Conference of the Association of Talent Development (ATD) conference I had the opportunity to listen to Andrea Jung the former CEO of Avon and the current President, and CEO of Grameen America  an organisation which loans money to women to start businesses. Andrea is a non-profit leader and prominent women’s-issues supporter and is considered a role model and trailblazer for women.  One of lasting impressions for me was follow your compass not the clock, do what is right for you.

During her time with Avon Products Inc. Andrea undertook a leadership role in the Avon Foundation for Women and under her leadership the foundation raised and awarded nearly $1 billion in support of women’s health and empowerment causes. Her efforts led to her being awarded the 2010 Clinton Global Citizen Award.

During her keynote speech Andrea made the following points about what it takes to lead a global company:

Vision and values. A company’s vision and values must be a global language; it must be enormously clear and simple to every employee in every corner of the world. Its vision should be a source of unity and global pride among employees. The values and integrity are the bedrock of the company.

Influence.  Leaders must be able to motivate, inspire, and share the vision of the company with its employees. Influence requires engagement and good leaders do not shy away from difficult discussions. And most importantly it is all about the people.

Reinvention. Leaders constantly need to reinvent themselves. Rethink decisions and look at problems from a different perspective. Never get complacent and to innovate your company you need to reinvent yourself first. Andrea recommends that you fire yourself on Friday and rehire yourself Monday and look at your strategies on Monday with new employee eyes.

Never stop innovating. Look at the disruptive technologies that are here already and innovate, innovate, innovate.

Women are the fastest growing emerging market. Women own the most small businesses and are our future leaders.

Do good. Doing good is as important as doing well.  Contributing to the great social good has to be a barometer of success. In addition, social responsibility and community outreach can serve as a powerful uniting point for employees all over the world.

Andrea’s leadership model and influence encompasses these points and in her current role where she is able to do good and is doing well – following her compass, not the clock.

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