Be a Human

Carolyn Everson – Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook

I think I’ve always wanted to lead since I was a very young child, whether it’s organizing played groups or being the head of student government early on when I was in school.

One of the most important breakthrough moments was actually when I learned to really be a human leader and what I mean by that is I had made twins in 2001 and they are now going to be eleven years old. They were born at 27 weeks and had a 30 percent chance of survival. At that moment when you have such a fragile and little girls in your hands you realize that that’s actually the most
important thing in life.

I really think it allowed me to really be human and demonstrate it to who I’ve been both at home and certainly in the office. I bring my entire self to the office. When I lead my teams I lead with the real sense of first and foremost you need to be a human.

I think that’s really been the most important breakthrough that I’ve had.


You have to motivate people

Mary Barra – CEO and Chairman of General Motors

One of the breakthrough moments I’ve had from a leadership perspective in my career was about a decade ago when I was supervising an running an assembly plant. We had to make at quite a few dramatic changes in a short period of time.

It’s when I realized it was not just about how hard I worked but it was also about unifying the team, making sure we were working in a common direction and then really communicating it to the two thousand people that were a part of the General Motors’ assembly team.

It was the breakthrough moment for me because I think in the past in some of a different engineering roles I’d had it was easier to get a grip a small group of people, make sure we’re aligned and then work really hard and solve a technical problem

But when you’re talking about an entire assembly plant, which is really like a small community, getting everybody engaged everyone align to make sure we’re building high-quality cars it took that extra communications and alignment and really motivating.

So it’s a part of leadership where “Hey, I have to motivate everybody to want to pull in the same direction not just naturally assume it’s going to happen like it might in a small team”.

Editorial Staff

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