FIRST THOUGHT: Leadership Reinvented
We often see type A personalities rising to the top. It makes sense: These people tend to have their stuff together, right? While there are steps you can take to build type A habits, don’t be discouraged if you’re a type B person. Here are the ways in which type B leaders excel: Their knack for relating to others makes it natural for them to give praise, which is an essential component of a healthy workplace. Type B peeps tend to be calmer and more patient. These are qualities that garner respect from employees. But take note, B’s: Asserting your authority when necessary and not running away from conflict are critical qualities to invest time in cultivating.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 30,000
Today we’re talking about a bold leader of a brand that doesn’t even need a name to be recognized. The creator known for the NIKE Swoosh logo started the company in the early 70s. A college student named Carolyn Davidson created the famous logo for a mere $35. (She’s since received shares of stock worth $1 million). Now, the logo is seen everywhere. In 2017, Nike had 30,000 retail partners.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Hannah Jones, President of Nike Valiant Labs
Over the course of the nearly five decades during which Nike has been part of the retail landscape, it's faced its fair share of criticism and controversy - from featuring Colin Kaepernick in a 2018 ad to a storied history of protests against Nike factory workers’ rights. Another aspect any business in the clothing and retail space needs to consider is sustainability. That’s where Hannah Jones comes in.
Hannah was the chief sustainability officer at Nike for 14 years. She helped incorporate some valuable changes, like making Nike-sponsored team kits for the World Cup from recycled plastic bottles. Now, Nike says 75 percent of its products contains some kind of recycled material.
Hannah’s currently leading in her current role as president of Nike Valiant Labs. Never heard of it? Me neither. Let’s see what this futuristic place is all about. Dubbed Nike’s internal incubator, Nike Valiant Labs has been reincarnated from its former title of Nike Innovation Accelerator. Hannah’s goal in this innovative new role is to use the strengths of entrepreneurs to fill in the gaps, meeting more of Nike’s customer needs and wants.
The role is a long cry from Hannah’s college days, where she studied philosophy and french at the University of Sussex. Her first post-college gig was a reporter, researcher and producer at BBC Radio One. From there, she managed European public service campaigns, which culminated in campaigns hitting 500 stations. Hannah’s focus in both of those positions was HIV/Aids and other issues that affected youth.
That philanthropy, it turns out, has led her to the success she’s found today. FleishmanHillard for Microsoft employed Hannah as a consultant to its first philanthropy program in the early and mid-90s.
Hannah has continued her activism by also building a nonprofit called the League of Badass Women. Its membership continues to grow into the five-digit range, and its span stretches across the world through 22 chapters. Members initiate and participate in conversations of how we can move away from a gendered workplace. Hannah’s doing important work, y’all.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Another executive, Meg Whitman, said:
"Run to the fire; don't hide from it."