January 19, 2022
WFF Leadership SmartBrief
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A Leader's Edge
Jennifer Briggs, the new CEO of San Diego-based craft brewery and taproom chain Modern Times Beer, aims to right the ship months after the company was rocked by employees' charges of harassment and discrimination in a flurry of Instagram posts. While Briggs changed the company's harassment reporting processes, implemented training and also prioritized hiring a DEI manager, transforming the company will take time since it involves "rewiring the organizational psychology of the business, and that doesn't happen overnight," said Briggs, who had been serving as interim CEO since October, months after founder Jacob McKean vacated the spot amid the accusations.
Full Story: Westword (Denver) (1/18) 
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Career Progression: Developing Leaders
In a changing workplace, focus less on linear paths to titles and promotions and instead seek work that emphasizes interpersonal skills, provides personal growth and adds value to the organization, writes Julie Winkle Giulioni. "Communication, empathy, collaborating, [team-building], influencing -- these are just a few of the high-impact skills that will be necessary and valued no matter what the future brings," Giulioni writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/13) 
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It's time to rethink your people approach
Only leaders practicing empathetic, transparent and curious leadership will solve the talent crisis and reduce turnover, writes Kate Wolff, founder and CEO of Lupine Creative. "Empathy grows within agency culture when we teach people to understand the gap between perceptions and intentions, and the importance of treating both sides of any interaction with an equal ear," Wolff writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Marketing (1/13) 
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Employees want their leaders to prioritize empathy, one-on-one time, communication and flexible schedules, according to a survey of 5,000-plus US and UK workers. "Employees work best when they are productive, and the highest-performing employees are those who feel supported by their company, especially when it comes to their mental and physical health," says Abakar Saidov, co-founder and CEO at Beamery, which conducted the survey.
Full Story: Inc. (tiered subscription model) (1/13) 
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Diversity and Inclusion
Walmart will work to improve DE&I efforts, US CEO says
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Although Walmart has made strides in its effort to bolster diversity, equity and inclusion, the retailer is still focused on further improvements, US President and CEO John Furner said during his keynote address at Retail's Big Show. Furner said more than half of the retailer's new hires are people of color, 44% of those promoted to management are women and 39% are people of color, but he added, "We're going to hold ourselves accountable to making real progress."
Full Story: Footwear News (1/17) 
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More Black and female chief financial officers are being selected by large companies, according to data from Crist Kolder Associates, although these groups continue to be underrepresented. There were 20 Black CFOs at S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies last year, nearly double the tally from 2020, and the percentage of female CFOs climbed to a record 15.1%.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (1/18) 
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James Rhee, founder of advisory firm Red Helicopter, spoke with James Fripp, chief equity and inclusion officer of YUM! Brands, Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, and Paige Thomas, president and CEO of Saks OFF 5TH, during an NRF 2022 session covering diversity, equity and inclusion. Inclusion, diversity, equity, fairness and the like are very important issues, Rhee noted. "Some of this is also just very basic humanity, slowing things down, having humility, laughing at yourself," he said. "That's part of this conversation. You can't advance things if you don't talk about them."
Full Story: National Retail Federation (1/16) 
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Women and Innovation in the Workforce
Audrey McGuckin, CEO of talent design innovation consultancy The McGuckin Group, discusses the steps companies must take to empower female leaders and prevent burnout, as well as the women's leadership program she founded, called Women On Their Way, that aims to overcome deep-rooted obstacles. "Corporate systems are broken and it's only when we identify, name and work to update those systems that real change happens," McGuckin says.
Full Story: AllworkSpace (1/18) 
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More than 70 female investors and women-led firms helped women-founded organic baby food company Yumi raise $67 million in a Series B funding round. "Being a data-driven company based in the CPG space, a category whose primary customer is often female yet is typically funded by male-owned venture capital companies, we believe it was important for us to recognize and correct this imbalance," said Angela Sutherland, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yumi. "By providing opportunities for investment from a group of powerful women, we were excited to be able to level our own internal playing field."
Full Story: Food Business News (free registration) (1/18) 
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Jenice Hill, the Memphis-based founder of 1-year-old juice company The Juicy Cactus, serves a clientele that's mostly women, selling a variety of juices such as Black Excellence, which combines coconut charcoal, pineapple, Bosc pear, yellow squash, lemon and cactus. "Whether it's women, whether it's African Americans, any disenfranchised group of people, those type of people are cactuses, because they live in a very unforgiving environment where they really have to fight to survive," says Hill, who very intentionally chose the name Black Excellence for that variety of juice in an effort to reinforce that "Black" can be "equated with beauty and excellence and deliciousness and everything positive."
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Bizwomen (1/14) 
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WFF News
Building friendly relationships with colleagues, especially those outside your immediate work group, can not only make work more enjoyable, but can increase cooperation, decrease stress and help you succeed in your current role and prepare for the next one. Just like a friendly neighbor will lend a hand in a pinch, when you build social capital at work, colleagues share expertise, time and insights that can make the difference between a project succeeding or careening off track. Unfortunately, there is a good chance your professional relationships have lost some of their vitality over the past year+ of working remotely or even being on-site while wearing masks and observing social distancing. Read more.
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