Leadership Archives - Kathy Varol


The best way to crush psychological safety

“We’re cutting 60% of the workforce in one month.” That message was delivered to a friend during a company town hall meeting. Each person sitting there suddenly knew it was more likely that they wouldn’t have a job in the near future. Fast forward 1 month. “Arrive at 8:00 am …

Read More


How to execute a business turnaround

I joined adidas in May 2013. In retrospect, it was the worst time to join the company. Growth for the brand had plateaued. We were balancing on a cliff, and about to take a nose dive. The corporate atmosphere went from comfortable complacency to active discomfort. As sales plummeted so …

Read More


Business failure or leadership failure?

If a company cannot provide its employees a living wage, then it’s a clear market indicator that company should not be in business. I do mean living wage. Not minimum wage or the lowest wage someone will accept, but a living wage which is defined as the minimum income necessary …

Read More


When strategy and execution eat breakfast together

Creating a successful business strategy (including a successful ESG strategy) requires articulating an inspiring vision, a discerning identification of priorities, a relentless focus once priorities are identified, and systems thinking in setting ambitious targets. This work requires the ability to seamlessly shift focus between the forest (vision) and the trees …

Read More


Let’s talk about executive pay

It’s easy to blindly follow the way things have been done without stopping to consider if it’s the best way to do things. If the standard approach is in line with our values, or the way we want the world to operate. Let’s take a minute to consider executive pay …

Read More


The power of “no”

“No” is a powerful word that isn’t used enough. It can take so much courage to use it because it’s an invitation for someone to see you more clearly. To see how you’re different from them. To understand what you like and don’t like. To see your boundaries and get …

Read More


The New Face Of Leadership (and Governance)

The face of leadership has changed. The reign of CEO as a benevolent dictator with all the answers is over. The CEO holds the heart of the organization. As a leader, you set the purpose that guides and galvanizes the company. You champion the Environmental, Social, and Governance (i.e. ESG) …

Read More


Who I work with and who I don’t work with

As a consultant, I get to choose who I work with, and who I don’t. Just like any partnership, there are elements that make a partnership set up for success. This is who I choose to work with: Perfectly hungry for change. I work with businesses that are ready to …

Read More
Site Design Rebecca Pollock
Site Development North Star Sites