In September, our President and CEO Denise Morrison sat down with Moira Forbes, President and Publisher of ForbesWoman, for a brief but intimate discussion about ambition, planning, advice, work-life integration and power. Here are some of our favorite highlights:
“I don’t think women should be afraid of declaring themselves.” Denise believes in setting a goal, stating it out loud and then doing what needs to be done to reach it. “The thought [of failure] never crossed my mind,” she told Moira, “because I was very driven to achieve that goal, and I was willing to put in the time and the energy to do what it takes, not only to get there, but also to be successful there.”
“Networking is working.” Denise shared the story of how, when her husband was offered a cross-country transfer to become a CEO, she was able to earn a promotion to the same region. “I understood directionally what my plan was,” she said, “and I had a good relationship that helped open another door for me.”
“You need a multiplier effect.” Trust, she noted, is vitally important. “You can’t run a company by yourself,” she advised, emphasizing the need for “inspiring and motivating and leading people to do amazing things.”
“Set clear priorities in the moment, as life happens.” Denise works to continuously shift her focus to truly be present in every situation, whether at work or at home. “If you think about integration, it’s dynamic,” she said. “You just need to address a situation and handle it.”
“Leadership is service.” Denise shared her philosophy around the power of giving — to consumers, customers, shareholders and others. “There is a power involved in getting people very excited about what they do, and to unleash their potential,” she said. “To me, that’s the greatest contribution a CEO can make.”
Click here to watch Denise’s ForbesWoman interview.