By: Angelyn Pinter, Senior Manager, Education, FMI
Any smart business strategy is about developing leaders. Strategy is nothing without effective leaders to execute it.
The need for leadership development today, and more importantly the future, has never been more vital. We are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work, live and eat. The shape that the workforce of the future takes will be the result of a set of complex, changing and competing forces.
One thing that has helped food industry leadership thrive through change is its ability to stay focused, continuously adapt, engage with others, and most importantly retain its core sense of identity and values.
As the Chief Retail Sales and Bottler Operations Officer at The Coca-Cola Company, Dagmar Boggs, reinforces The Coca-Cola Company’s strong tradition of growing people within the company who have demonstrated the ability to deliver excellent results in different ways with consumers, customers, bottling partners, and the communities in which its employees work.
As a co-chair of the Future Leaders eXperience, we asked for Dagmar’s perspective on leadership styles, cultivating talent, and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your Leadership Style
On challenges facing leaders today...
The biggest challenge facing leaders today is managing for today, as well as for tomorrow. The grocery industry, and overall retail industry, is changing rapidly. And now, during these unprecedented times, it can be more challenging than ever to make quick decisions while not losing sight of our long-term strategy. It is also challenging to ensure that everything is considered and vetted in making both short and long-term plans and decisions. Strong leadership is not time bound by the “now” or the “future”…it’s doing both.
On great advice...
One of the most important pieces of feedback I received early on in my career was to take risks. While it can sometimes be scary to go out on a limb, I was encouraged to take strategic and thoughtful risks at every stage of my career. In doing this, I knew there would be times where I wouldn’t be successful, but I was also taught to believe in myself no matter what. I’ve carried these lessons with me throughout my career and over time I have learned to trust myself in making decisions. The learnings that I have gained from all decisions regardless of the outcome have been invaluable and have been, no doubt, stepping-stones for my career.
On succeeding in the food industry...
The people who succeed in the food industry are highly motivated to understand the evolving needs of shoppers. They understand the importance of providing excellent customer service. People who succeed in the food industry are also dynamic leaders. Not only are they able to effectively run their businesses, but they also take pride in leading and developing their talent, fostering an inclusive and supportive team environment.
Leadership During Difficult Times
On inclusion and diverse work culture...
Diversity and inclusion have always been a core part of my DNA as a leader; actually, it’s always been a core personal belief before I even became a leader. A diverse workforce not only makes an organization strong and resilient, but it also gives them the ability to tap into a wider range of skills and cultural insights that drives better overall performance. I make a concerted effort to be consistent and fair in my leadership practices and encourage feedback from others to become stronger in this area.
On looking at leadership in the future...
Once the coronavirus pandemic is behind us, I want to always remember how incredibly empowering and inspiring it was to collaborate with teammates from all levels of the organization during such a critical time. I take pride in making sure everyone’s voice is heard and leveraging their diversity of thought and experience not only during a crisis – but every day. Great ideas and critical thinking come from all levels of the organization.