Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #10 – Doug Conant On Leadership And Organizational Success

How can leaders be attentive to those they serve when their time is becoming increasingly fragmented and demands on it growing? How can recognizing the efforts of our employees lead to a sense of purpose and community and with it, a drive towards achieving excellence? These are a few of the topics I discuss with retired CEO and renowned leadership expert Doug Conant in the 10th episode of my leadership podcast show, “Leadership Biz Cafe”.

For the last 10 years, Doug has served as the President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, which under his stewawdship was transformed from one of the worst Fortune 500 organizations in terms of employee engagement levels to one of the best.  As a result, Campbell’s experienced not only improved productivity and profitability under his stewardship, but the company also received numerous awards recognizing the organization as one of the best places to work.

Since retiring from Campbell’s in 2011, Doug has remained quite active in the leadership field, both through his speaking engagements and his writings in such publications as the Harvard Business Review. Recently, Doug also accepted a position to serve on the Avon corporate board, in addition to serving on the boards of several charitable and other non-profit organizations.

Doug also co-authored with Mette Norgaard the New York Times bestseller “TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments”.

Over the course of our conversation, Doug and I discuss:

  • How leaders can transform daily interruptions into opportunities to help others succeed.
  • Why “all leadership models are wrong” and what leaders should use instead.
  • The two traits that successful leaders share and use to navigate today’s complex and changing business landscape.
  • What a near-fatal accident revealed to Doug about the power of community and fostering a sense of belonging.
  • The four needs leaders should address to transform their company into a world-class and enduring organization.

As I mentioned at the end of the show, I’d love to hear what you think about this episode, as well as what other topics you’d be interested in hearing more about in upcoming episodes of my show. You can share your thoughts/ideas by leaving a comment below or by filling out the contact form on my website.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast:

[Running time: 50 minutes]

This episode, along with other episodes of this show, are also available on iTunes (please rate this show on iTunes if you listen/download the episode).

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5 Comments » | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | December 4, 2012 by |

  1. On December 4th, 2012 at 2:49 PM David Mariano said:

    Tanveer – I'm very excited to listen when I get home. Is your podcast in iTunes? If so, I'm having trouble finding it.

  2. On December 4th, 2012 at 3:56 PM Tanveer Naseer said:

    Hi David,

    My podcast is not on iTunes . . . yet. I wanted to wait until I had the 10th episode in the can so it would be easier to have this show added to their directory given the number of shows already completed.

    With that in mind, I plan on working to get this show up on iTunes over the holiday break at which point, I'll be adding a link and badge on my site to tell people where to go to find this show on iTunes.

    And by the way, Doug shares some interesting stories over the course of the show; we even touched a bit on sports and leadership which was an unexpected, but pleasant surprise.

    Let me know what thoughts this discussion spurs on.

  3. On January 19th, 2013 at 8:04 PM David Mariano said:

    Finally got around to listening to this. I love how he compares all financial models being wrong to all leadership models being wrong; we need to find one that speaks to us. Also, it was great to hear him talk about leadership being a journey and requiring constant work. "You either grow or die." Great interview, Tanveer.

  4. On January 21st, 2013 at 4:45 PM Tanveer Naseer said:

    Thanks David. It's a refreshing statement to hear from such an experienced leader that we need to stop mimicing what works for others and to make the effort to learn, adapt and grow for ourselves as leaders.

    As Doug openly admits, leadership is hard work and there's no getting around that never-ending learning process.

    Thanks David for coming back to share your thoughts on this interview. By the way, I'm on track to getting this show up on iTunes so it will be easier for podcast listeners to subscribe to the show for new episodes, as well as go back and check out some of the earlier ones.

  5. On January 22nd, 2013 at 12:15 PM David Mariano said:

    I agree – Doug still seems humble despite his success (or maybe that's why he's been so successful 🙂

    Excellent news on the iTunes thing – can't wait to see it there.

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