#ATD2015 Keynote: Andrea Jung

ATD Keynote - Andrea JungI am still trying to catch up from a great ATD Conference. Over the next two days, I will finish writing about all the great sessions I sat in on. This is my way of sorting out what I have been exposed to, and how it will work for me.  I hope you can benefit from what I have learned.

To be honest, I was not aware of Andrea Jung. As I quickly learned, she is the former  and first women CEO for Avon and now the President and CEO of Grameen America. Not knowing what to expect, I walked away with a lot from this skilled leader. 

Jung spoke about what it takes to lead a global business. It is important that leadership steps up and takes an active role in shaping talent. There are many challenges but many opportunities especially in innovation.

Avon started 1886. This was a company for female empowerment. David McConnell intentionally hired women to sell his product. These women were entrepreneurs. Currently, there are more women selling Avon in Brazil than all Brazilian military forces combined.

Leadership lessons

  • Vision and values must be a global language. They must be clear and simple. Avon’s vision is “The company for women” and their values are  trust, respect, humility, belief, integrity.
  • It’s all about influenceIt’s about understanding people. Influence is more important than power.
  • Communication is key to change. You cannot over communicate. Deliver bad news face-to-face.
  • Reinvention is key. Keep the best of the past and move forward. Personal reinvention is also key. Keep moving forward.

Fire yourself on Friday, and rehire on Monday. Walk in with new hire eyes. Question your own decisions and strategies.

  • Never stop innovating. Innovation is a global equalizer. Change starts at the top. The CEO is the chief talent officer.
  • Do good. It’s as important as doing well. Don’t be only successful but also significant.

Jung provided a number of statistics about women in society and women in the workforce. She noted that women are the fastest growing emerging market. Women must be equally valued in the workforce. Numbers show that there is more we must do in terms of  women in advancement. Women as entrepreneurs are fastest growing segment.

Life Lessons

  • It’s about purpose, not power.
  • Follow your compass, not your clock.
  • Persevere. Never give up.
  • Bloom where you are planted.
  • Fail forward.
  • Life is not always fair.
  • Don’t be a victim, find a solution.
  • Balance is possible, but not on the same day 😉
  • Pay it forward.
  • Leadership is about the who not the what.

After leaving Avon, she joined Grameen America. She helps finance women entrepreneurs.

This presentation gave me a lot to think about. It was a great way to start the first full day of the conference. Many of the points she spoke about are worth reflecting upon. I suggest you watch the presentation above. While it is not the same one she gave at ATD, it is very similar.