Doug Conant on Leadership as sacred ground - Kathy Varol
Doug Conant
January 5, 2022   |   Episode #: 020

Doug Conant on Leadership as sacred ground

Show Notes:

Doug Conant is an internationally renowned business leader, and both a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Doug has honed his leadership craft turning around companies at the most senior levels—first as President of the Nabisco Foods Company, then as CEO of Campbell Soup Company, and later as Chairman of Avon Products. In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership: a mission-driven community of leaders and learners who are championing leadership that works in the 21st century.

Throughout his career, Doug’s motto has been, “to win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace”. This focus on people, workplace trust, and clarity of purpose have been critical factors to delivering extraordinary business results for the companies he led.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why you must first win in the workplace if you want to win in the marketplace
  • The secret to employee engagement
  • The blueprint for becoming a great leader

Key Takeaways: 

  • Leaders need followers, and followers are earned. To earn followers, you need to invite them in, and they need to know—and feel—they are wildly supported by you. If you are a leader, you invite others to join you by taking the time to listen, by being intentional, and by crafting your leadership plan.
  • Being a leader of an organization is hard. There is no “right” way to be a leader. The most effective leaders take the time to understand their values, lead in alignment with their values, and have the courage to lead as themselves. You can’t be an authentic leader if you’re trying to lead like someone else.
  • Everyone has the power to take accountability for how they show up to work, and in life. And on top of that, everyone is accountable for how they show up, whether they take accountability or not. Whether you’re the CEO, a manager or an entry-level person, the way you show up influences those around you. It’s worth being intentional about the influence you want to have.


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