Hi, everybody and welcome to the David Novak Leadership Podcast, the only podcast that brings you conversations with today’s most successful leaders that you just won’t hear anywhere else. I’m Ashley Butler, your co-host today and I’m here with my dad, David Novak, the co-founder and Former Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Taking People With You and a frequent guest host on CNBC Squawk Box. He founded David Novak Leadership to help leaders like you become the best leader you can be. So dad, who are we going to learn from today?
David Novak 0:40
Well Ashley, today’s guest is a very good friend of mine and a person I know you learned a lot from when he actually asked you to go on a market tour to visit a target in Louisville since he knows you and your family loves shopping at Target so much. I remember Ashley you telling me how impressed you were that he was kept peppering you with questions about your Target experience. Well, he wanted to learn from one of his most loyal customers. And after all, you are the definition of a heavy user. Well, of course, I’m talking about Brian Cornell, the Chairman and CEO of the iconic Target brand. You’re going to learn a lot about how a great leader dives into a turnaround situation and rights the ship. You’re going to find that Brian is a lifelong learner, teacher and coach. And since we’ve had our interview, I have to say I’ve been so impressed watching Brian take a leadership role working with the president and even his competitors to form a public private partnership to help America win the war against Coronavirus. In this conversation. You’re going to learn from Brian, how he leveled the playing field, what he wakes up every day thinking about, his favorite question when he visits Target stores, why saying, “I don’t know” actually makes you smarter, how to take your opinion out of the equation, and how the best thing that happens in business is when you see the pronouns change. There’s no doubt that this conversation is with one of today’s most successful leaders, and it’s packed with insights. Brian, thanks so much for having this conversation.
Brian Cornell 2:09
David, it’s great to be here with you.
David Novak 2:11
Let me start out, Brian, just by- you know, obviously, you’re the CEO of one of the largest and most admired retailers in the world. You know, how’d you get there? Tell us a little bit about your journey. How’d you grow up? Tell me about, you know, what was like when you were a kid?
Brian Cornell 2:24
I go back in time. And it’s pretty amazing to me to think that I somehow ended up in this amazing role, running 100 year old iconic American brand like Target. I grew up in a really humble environment. I lost my dad when I was young. My mom had a series of illnesses. And I had to grow up the hard way. And I’ve worked for as many years as you can imagine, from being just a little kid mowing lawns and shoveling snow and washing trucks at Tropicana DC. So, if you look back in time when I was a kid, you would have said, No, there’s no chance this person person ends up doing what I’m doing. But in a country like ours, where you have opportunities, I was able to take advantage of it. And I learned really early in life, that for me, David, there were only three ways when I was a kid, that I could put my economic circumstances aside and just move forward. I found that it was in school, because when the test is handed out, nobody cared who my dad was, or how much money I had. In sports on the playing field, where the playing field was level and at work, where once you showed up, it was all about performance and execution and doing the things that were put in front of you. So I learned pretty early that that for me was the level playing field, in school, in sports, when I worked, and I embraced that early. I didn’t feel sorry for myself. I said I’m going to perform, excel. Take advantage of opportunities. And somehow it all worked out. But it wasn’t some magical path. I didn’t grow up in a CEOs household. I had worked for literally everything I had. Find part time jobs. So I had money for cleats, and baseball and equipment in football. But it all worked out because, I found what worked for me. And I was really fortunate to have great mentors and leaders and people that just cared.
David Novak 4:30
You know, I was looking at your career and you’ve you’ve been, you know, had some amazing jobs. You know, after you got past you’re mowing the lawns as a kid, EVP of Safeway, CEO of Michael’s, CEO Sam’s Club, CEO of Pepsi America’s, you know, what made you shift gears? When was it- what was it that would you know, if you can generalize, what was it that made you say, “Hey, I want to do something different.”
Brian Cornell 4:54
It actually goes back David to kind of the early 2000 period, and I had, just come back from Europe with PepsiCo, I was in a great role in the US. And my phone kept ringing from one of the search companies saying, Brian, there’s this unique opportunity. It’s in retail. It’s a company that actually is pretty troubled, might be down on their luck a little bit. But they’re looking for somebody to come in, re-energize the strategy, rethink the business plan, build brands, and the first three times they called, my answer was always the same. Hey, I love what I’m doing. I’m not interested, and then hang up the phone. And after the third call, my wife looked at me and said, “You know, you keep telling them that but every time you say no, I see kind of this look in your eye as if you’re missing a big opportunity.” And the reason I was so attracted and ultimately moved from consumer packaged goods to retail, is I wanted to see if I could apply everything I had learned from a marketing standpoint, from a leadership standpoint, from a team building standpoint, in a new environment, and challenge myself, and it was uncomfortable. And one of the first things I learned is I had to get really comfortable saying, “I don’t know,” because I hadn’t done it before. You know, I was so comfortable. I knew the consumer packaged goods world. I knew PepsiCo, I knew beverages and snacks. It was in my blood. All of a sudden, I had to sit there and say, You know what, there’s some things I understand. But every once in a while, I gotta be comfortable telling the team that’s reporting to me. No, I need some help here. haven’t done this before. Can you help me? And one, it humbled me. But I think it also made me more authentic. And people rallied around the fact that I didn’t have all the answers and I wanted them to be part of the solution.
David Novak 6:49
That takes a lot of security. Brian, did you know I remember coming up my career I was trying to demonstrate to people that I knew what was going on and you know, I didn’t really- I wasn’t that open about talking what I didn’t know. And you know, I got more and more comfortable with that and I agree with the power of that. Was there a point in your career where you hit that pivot point where all of a sudden you you could be vulnerable like that?
Brian Cornell 7:13
I think it hit me, David, actually, back in 1999 and PepsiCo sent me to run a business unit in Europe. I packed my family up, we moved to Brussels, Belgium, and I’m running all these different countries and markets, different languages, different cultures, different competitors. And I realized pretty quickly, I didn’t have all the answers. Some things look the same. But people sounded different. There were competitors I’d never heard of. There are different cultural issues that I didn’t quite understand. So I had to ask a lot of questions. And I think at that point in my career, I learned the importance of making fewer statements and asking more questions. And I realized that That one, it may be a better leader. First, it showed that I did care. And I asked lots of questions. And I listened intently. And then I learned. But I really tried to make sure I asked three times as many questions as they made statements. And I had to adjust to an environment where the languages were different. The cultures were different, the teams were different. And the business model, while it looked the same on paper, it was different country by country. So I started to really put a premium on asking questions, being a great listener, and making sure my statements, yeah, I might make it from time to time, but I wanted to measure the number of things that I said. David, I’ve always felt in roles like ours, when you were leading Yum! so successfully for so many years or a company like Target that has such an important relationship with American consumers. You got to wake up every day understanding consumer trends. You know, what are consumers interested in, how are they living their lives, where do they spend their money? I spent a lot of time and I always have whether it was here at PepsiCo, understanding the customer, I’m working with. In the case of Target, it’s, you know, it’s the Target guests, those 30 million families that shop in our stores every week. I need to really make sure I understand as much about them as possible. I spent a lot of time, and I always have, trying to understand my competition. I think to be successful in jobs like ours, you need to know as much about your competition as you do your own business. And I’ve learned that you’ve got to be able to manage cost effectively. And you’ve got to build great teams. And while the consumer part is important and the customer part is important and competition’s important, and certainly you’ve got to manage cost effectively. I’ve always found out, it always comes down to people.
David Novak 9:49
I want to come back to the teams in just a minute, but you know, one of the things I do know that you do is you get out into the stores and you visit with guests firsthand and talk to team members, what’s your process that you use for going into the store? What’s your goal when you go into the store? And how do you want to, how do you want to leave the people that to you meet?
Brian Cornell 10:10
One, I almost always try to arrive unannounced. I want to go in, I want to see things the way our shopper does the way the basic consumer does. I don’t want people to know I’m coming in advance. And one of the great parts of that is, there’s nothing better than catching people doing all the right things. When you walk in, and they’re not spending days and weeks preparing for it, but they’re just doing their job. They’re providing great leadership. They’re setting up great standards, and walk in and understand what they’re doing. Where I can help. Where are their pain points. What are elements that are working for them? Where do they have challenges, but I always try to make sure I start by, how can I help? You know, because I’m there to make sure I support them. And I found once you establish that dialogue, people relax. They realize that you’re there sincerely on behalf of the company to help them. And that opens up great dialogue. They’re more comfortable telling me you know, Brian, this item over here, it’s doing great. Packaging, presentation, the pricing, guest shopper, they love it. Over here, we got a problem. Size isn’t right. Price isn’t right. Somebody’s not satisfied with the presentation. I need some help. So once I can open up the dialog and make them realize, Hey, I’m there to serve them. They open up they’re more comfortable. And people can really be themselves.
David Novak 11:43
Well that’s kind of like that old saying, “nobody will care about you unless you show that you care about them.” And by doing that they feel- they trust you enough to really give you the straight skinny versus, versus you know, giving you the company line.
Brian Cornell 11:57
Well and I try to make sure they trust me enough that they know they can deliver good news and bad news. And they’re comfortable either way.
David Novak 12:06
Now you were talking, we were talking, we mentioned team building and the importance of teams. How do you view yourself as a leader? I mean, what do you think is your approach to leadership?
Brian Cornell 12:16
I might go back in time, you know, when I was in school at UCLA, I kind of went back and forth about what did I want to do? For a long time, I thought I wanted to be a teacher and a coach. When I stopped playing football in college, I coached high school football, and I coached baseball, and I loved working with kids. I love being out on the field. And in some ways, I feel like I’m still a coach. I get to develop talent and design the plays and work with the team and get somebody ready to come off the bench and jump in when we need them. And I want to be a lifelong coach. And I’ve always recognized you can have a great game plan, a beautiful strategy, it always looks good in a boardroom or on the sideline. But it’s always the people that have to go out there and embrace it. I’ve always believed that, for me, the best things have happened in businesses that I’ve been involved in – when the pronouns change. Let me explain what that means. When I hear somebody say, David said, or Brian said, we need to do this. I usually just shake my head and say, you know, this is not going to work out well, because they don’t own it. They don’t believe it, they’re doing it because they think it’s important to you or to me, but when I hear that pronoun flip, and it’s, “Here’s what we’re gonna do.” And “Here’s what we believe in.” And “Here’s our strategy.” And “Here’s our plan,” magical things happen because people become accountable. They feel vested, they feel like they’re owners, and they’re empowered. So I always look for that pronoun to flip.
David Novak 13:52
I love that. That is such a great phrase, you know, the pronoun flip, going from me to we or in our I to- You know, that just that’s Fantastic
Brian Cornell 14:00
But in, in businesses like ours, it makes a huge difference. And when people feel like, first their voice has been heard. You want to hear their point of view. And it’s our plan. It’s not my plan. All of a sudden, great results start to materialize.
David Novak 14:18
You mentioned earlier that you’d had a number of mentors and leaders that really had helped you throughout your career. Can you talk about a couple of them and what they really provided you?
Brian Cornell 14:27
You know, I’ll start with a woman by the name of Ellen Marram, who was the CEO of Nabisco’s business, she ran the Tropicana business, and she was this incredible brand builder, and very consumer focused. Built great brands in her career. And I learned a lot from her. Ellen today still sits on the board of Ford Motor Company and the New York Times, she’s still very engaged. But one of the things she taught me from a brand building standpoint is, my opinion didn’t really count. It should be all about what the consumer is telling us, what people who are using the brand are saying. And I might have some great ideas, but she taught me to always go back and say, Alright, does the consumer like this idea? Do they like the packaging? Do they like the new product? How do they react to the campaign? As opposed to me walking in and saying, This is fantastic. You know, look at this great package. Look at this great product. She taught me a lot about brand building, and how to really stay close to the consumer and I will never ever forget that.
David Novak 15:33
Well, you certainly are doing that today. All you have to do is walk into a Target store and see the voice of the customer and action in terms of how you respond. Do you have any daily rituals or habits that you use to get yourself fired up? You’re a very positive, energetic person. You can’t be this way all the time. What do you do? How do you get yourself pumped up to go to work?
Brian Cornell 15:54
David, probably 15 years ago now. I got involved with a program called The Corporate Athlete. It’s a program out of Orlando, they call it the Human Performance Institute. And they started out training and working with professional athletes, you know, people who were competing at the highest level. And they transition this program over for executives like you and I, to say, all right, how do you manage your energy? How do you train like you’re an athlete? And transfer some of that learning from tennis and golf and football and baseball into the corporate environment. And it taught me a lot about first energy management. How do you make sure that you’re at your best when you have to be at your best? And what’s the role of nutrition and rest and exercise in making yourself a better executive? So I kind of rewired myself. I started to recognize, well, if I’m speaking in front of a big crowd, if I’ve got a really big board meeting, if I’ve had an important decision to make, I better get some sleep the night before. Just like you would if you’re playing in the US Open, or you’re playing in the Super Bowl, the night before the game, I’m going to get a good meal, I’m going to rest I’m going to show up at my very best. And for me, I also recognize the importance of exercise. And whether it’s 20 minutes in between meetings or the end of the day before I’ve got to go off to a dinner function, getting on the treadmill, doing something, to manage my stress, build back my energy. But I’ve tried to think about those principles every day. And I no longer challenge my teams to kind of show that false bravado. When you and I were growing up, go back, you know, back in the day, somebody would say, Oh, you know, I was working at two o’clock in the morning. And here I am at seven o’clock and I’m ready to go and do you need something eat? No, coffee will be fine. You know, I’m going to go to work. And you realize you’re asking somebody six hours later, a really important question, get an opinion. Well, they’re fatigued. They’re exhausted, they haven’t eaten, and you can’t expect them to deliver their best. So I really tried to balance the importance of my energy and trying to make sure I never have a bad day. But to do that, I’ve got to get the right amount of sleep, eat well, exercise and try to bring my best to work every day.
David Novak 18:21
Well, that’s that’s some absolutely great advice. And you know, the other thing I know about you, Brian, is you were very devoted family man, you got a great family, great, great partner. And you’re a CEO, and you have all these time demands and people like me want to interview you. How do you manage that all and put your family in the right priority?
Brian Cornell 18:41
Well, David, it’s actually, it’s taken some time. And I think there’s some tough lessons learned for all of us along the way. Because today, I’m so fortunate to have a wife who, in September, we’ll have been married 35 years. 35 years. She’s lived in Europe and Asia, and in different parts of the US, she supported me throughout my career. And I couldn’t be here without her. My two kids are my two best friends. And my son and my daughter, I talk to them every day. Now, I may get a text message. But you know, I hear from them, we communicate. And I’ve recognized just how important that balance is. That you have to be able to do both. And you can’t have one without the other. And I think for most of us, the importance of our family, and I know your daughter and the relationship you have with her, and the relationship you have with your wife. That’s part of who you are. And you’ve got to be able to find a way to balance your passion for work with the commitment you have your family, and when they both come together. Again, I think that’s where, you know, people like you and I find a way to excel.
Hey, listeners, let’s take a break and talk about you. Do you want to be a more effective leader? If you want to grow and make a bigger impact as a leader, you have to check out our new Purposeful Recognition course. It’s a masterclass style course taught by David Novak, where he teaches you and your teams how to use recognition as a results driving business skill. It’s fun, it’s short, and it’s just $99. And I can tell you that if you’re interested in moving from me to we, it’s the best way to get started doing it. So I encourage you, turn your intentions to be a better leader into action. And go to DavidNovakLeadership.com and sign up today. You won’t regret it. Now back to the podcast.
David Novak 20:35
What’s your view, Brian, of just recognition. You know, a lot of people think recognition is something you should do, obviously, but they don’t think she did very often. You got to be careful with it because you know, you might, you know, people might take their foot off the accelerator, what’s your view on recognition and how often you should give it as a leader?
Brian Cornell 20:57
David, I don’t think you can give it enough. I think it’s so important. I think people want to hear that first, you care, that you recognize their contribution, that you’re giving them feedback. And I found and you’ve taught me a lot of this. But recognition is so powerful. You know, back to bringing energy to the organization, and commitment and getting people to feel ownership. When you recognize their performance and their contribution and what they bring, and you just pause to say, “thank you,” It makes such a big difference. And I talked about working in, living in the US and Asia and Europe. It’s worldwide. People want to be recognized. And it doesn’t always have to be the big giant trophy. You know, little notes, little thank yous. It goes a long way, thanking somebody for their contribution to a program or their contribution to a meeting or the fact that, you know, if they picked up one of their teammates when somebody had an issue, somebody had to run off and take care of one of their kids, they stepped up said, “Hey, I’ll do it.” And you recognize that it makes the world of difference.
David Novak 22:13
Absolutely. And you know, when you think about your company’s future, obviously, you’re going to need more and more leaders like yourself. How do you focus on leadership development? And what do you personally do to make sure that you’re developing the next generation of leaders in your company?
Brian Cornell 22:29
Well, I personally spent a lot of time on it. And if I think about, you know, my allocation of time, I would say at least a third of my time, is on the people. Working with my teams, working on leaders, thinking about that next generation. You’ve met my sensational head of HR at Target. Stephanie Lundqvist, we’ve been spending a lot of time saying alright, how do we identify the future executive leaders of Target that five years from now, 10 years from now, are going to be sitting around that table? And I see them every day. I know who those candidates are, how do we overcommit to them, give them the time, share critical experiences, make sure we’re elevating their full potential? But you’ve got to commit the time. You got to be a great coach and teacher, you got to listen, you got to be able to share what you’ve learned. You’ve got to also be willing to say, here’s all the mistakes I’ve made. And I want you to learn from what’s worked for me. But also I want to, I want to make sure I share with you, here’s all the things I’ve done wrong, and I got a long list of all the mistakes I’ve made.
David Novak 23:37
What would be at the top of that list when you look back at your career?
Brian Cornell 23:41
You know, probably, in some ways, David, moving too fast on certain issues. You know, not asking enough questions, not getting full buy-in, running ahead of the team. And watching people say, “That’s a great add. Brian loves this. Let them go. He’ll figure it out.” You’ve got it. Bring people with you. And when I was a little younger, and I was just focused on performance and execution and making sure you know, I got the a grade, I might have run ahead of the team, and I left them behind. I now recognize, you’ve got to bring people with you, you got to set a great agenda. But if you’re not bringing the team with you, flipping that pronoun, you can only do so much on your own.
David Novak 24:22
You know, Brian, I saw a recent Gallup survey where 70% on average, 70% of workers in our country today are not engaged. Why do you think that is?
Brian Cornell 24:37
They probably don’t feel ownership. They don’t feel a connection with the company. They may not feel a connection to the purpose of the organization. They don’t feel appreciated. And you think about if you’re not feeling appreciated, and you don’t feel an attachment to the organization’s purpose, and you don’t buy into the direction, it just becomes a routine for you and your energy dissipates, you’re not fully engaged, and ultimately, you walk out. But I think leadership plays such an important part in filling that engagement void. And great leaders build engagement. And they provide a platform for people to ask questions, to fill in the blanks, so that you can build that bond with the team.
David Novak 25:27
You know, Brian, you’ve had so many wins in your career, you obviously wouldn’t be where you’re at if you didn’t have such a tremendous track record, which you clearly have. What would be the number one highlight of your career? Can you point to one that you’re just really proud of
Brian Cornell 25:42
David, it’s probably what I’m doing today. When I walked into the Target headquarters, and recognize I’m running 100 year old company, this iconic American brand, 320,000 people, the sixth largest employer in the United States, 30 million shoppers every week, 85% of America shops at Target every year. I almost pinch myself. I said this everyday, How did this happen? And thyou know, I was humbled by it, and I feel this sense of responsibility every day for the brand, the business and the team, because it is this iconic company, and I want to make it better. And that’s probably the highlight of my entire business career.
David Novak 26:34
That’s, that’s amazing. You’re also very vulnerable, and you talk about things, you know, mistakes that you might have made. Can you share with us the low point in your career and event that happened and how did you cope with it?
Brian Cornell 26:50
Well, I’ll tell you, the, probably the most challenging day that I can think of in my 30+ year career, and it happened this year, David. I made a very difficult decision to stand up in front of shareholders, our business analysts at our annual investor conference in February. And I’ll remember February 28. For the rest of my career. I’d have to tell you, it’s a challenging time at retail. There’s a lot of changes, thousands of stores closing, a significant change between physical and digital shopping. And I recognized that we had to place some pretty bold bets. And that morning before I stood up in front of about 350 shareholders in the room, lots more on a webcast. I’ve watched us push the button to send out the release and it said, Target to spend $7 billion of capital in the next three years to reimagine stores and build new stores and improve technology and supply chain. I told shareholders that day, I’m going to use $1 billion of operating income to invest in more talent in their stores, in our brands, in accelerating the business. Well, once that news wire went out, I was watching a little bit of CNBC. And they’re looking saying, this can’t be right. They’re going to spend how much? Their operating income is going to come down by a billion dollars. And I watched our stock fall. And then I had to go across the street to the meeting room and get ready to get on stage. And those stairs looked like they were six feet high. I was thinking I stand up and explain to the world, here’s why we’re doing what we’re going to do. But the most satisfying part of that was I walked offstage. And one of the analysts ran up to me, and he looked me in the eye and said, Brian, I didn’t think you’d have the courage to do this, but you’re doing the right thing. If I was you running Target, I’d make those investments. I’d play the long game, I’d plan for the future. But that was one of the loneliest moments in my career, watching people question what I was doing, the bet we were placing, having the courage to crawl up on stage and stand there and explain, Alright, here’s what we’re going to do. And here’s why I need your trust that, not tomorrow, but two and three years from now, we’re going to be a better company, and we’ll be one of the future winners.
David Novak 29:32
So you coped with that basically, by knowing deep in your heart, that it was the right thing to do and when you do the right thing, the right things happen.
Brian Cornell 29:39
And I knew it was the right thing for the brand. But most importantly, it was the right thing for the team. And the response I received. We both know those front lines of our organization are so important. When I went out to stores and they were hearing, what, Brian’s investing $500 million in more hours and more talent and more people. All they could say was, Thank you. You know, thanks for believing in us. But that was a tough decision. And there were some lonely hours. And my IQ is dropping pretty quickly. But we did the right thing for the long term. And I know three years from now, we’ll be a better company, we’ll be a stronger company, we’ll be one of the future winners, and our team will drive it on those results.
David Novak 30:28
Well, you obviously project a lot of confidence in your people in the future. How do you feel, how important is that for a leader to project that kind of confidence?
Brian Cornell 30:37
I think when you’re in roles like ours, you don’t get a chance to have a bad day. You know, people watch us so carefully, to see our energy level, our confidence, our commitment, our engagement. I think it’s critically important, because as tough as it is, and I’m still learning to get used to it after all these years, we don’t get days off. Can’t say you don’t x Wednesday, I’m gonna have a bad day on Wednesday. You know, don’t ignore it. People depend on us, you know, and we have to project confidence. Because if we’re not confident, they’re not going to be confident.
David Novak 31:15
Absolutely.What’s your personal mission going forward?
Brian Cornell 31:17
You know, if I, if there’s one thing I feel really strongly about, David, is I want to leave behind, whenever the day is when they say, you know, Brian, it’s time for you to step away from Target, I want to make sure I’m leaving a company behind that’s filled with great talent, with a amazing leadership team, with people that are really engaged. And, you know, I’ve thought about this a lot. One of the things that I think is so important is when I do retire, and when you retired, you want people to miss you. And I think that’s so important. I know at Yum! people will always miss David Novak. When I leave Target, I want someone to say, you know, I still miss Brian.
David Novak 32:09
I guarantee you, they don’t want you to leave and when you do leave, it will be, it will be not a happy day for everybody because you make a difference in people. If there are three pieces of leadership advice you could leave our listeners with what would those three pieces be?
Brian Cornell 32:26
Probably I’ve talked about many of them, David, I think, again, it’s really important to be a great listener. I think the opportunity to make sure that you’re asking questions, showing great respect, showing that you really care what others think is really important, I think to do our jobs well, you have to be a lifelong student, because the business is always changing. There’s always something new, so you can’t blink. You’ve got to be studying the consumer landscape. For me, the retail landscape, understand what’s happening in the macro and micro environments. You’ve got to be a great student. But I think the one message I’d leave behind is it always comes down to the people and making sure they’re engaged, they’re recognized, they know how important they are. All these strategies, all the great documents, all the great presentations, ultimately, it always comes down to the people who own it, who live it, who execute it. They’re the ones that make it happen.
David Novak 33:32
You know, Brian, you are a leader that has amazing heart. I’ve basically been motivated just by listening to you. I mean, I can’t wait to go out and do something positive for somebody. And you certainly have done something positive for all of our listeners. Thank you for sharing your story so openly, being so vulnerable and just showing us what’s possible if you do the right things. I really appreciate you being on the show.
Brian Cornell 33:57
Thanks for having me, David. Thank you very much.
Brian shared some great wisdom on how to determine if your workers are engaged. He calls it the pronoun flip. When you hear your workers saying, “Here’s what we’re going to do and here’s our strategy,” instead of “Here’s what Brian is going to do.” Your workers are engaged. I love this quote from Brian: “Magical things happen when the pronoun flips because people become accountable. They feel invested, they feel like owners and they are empowered.” Do you have an engaged team? Follow Brian’s advice and listen for the pronoun flip. How does your team talk about the business? Do they describe it as “your plans”? Or are they owning them and describing them as “our plans”? Listen to your team talk and see if the pronoun flip is at work. In this season of the David Novak Leadership podcasts we’ll have a quarterly Q&A where my dad will answer your most pressing leadership questions. You can submit your questions by following David Novak and commenting on his Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages. You can subscribe to this podcast and our bi-weekly newsletter at DavidNovakLeadership.com. As always, we appreciate you taking the time to rate and review us on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify. Thanks for listening.
Hear the story behind the leader. Our featured guest Brian Cornell, Chairman & CEO of Target Corporation, has been CEO of many companies in his career. Listen to Brian tell the story of what shaped his leadership style from his youth to his current role.
Cornell joined Target in August 2014 after more than 30 years in escalating leadership positions at leading retail and global consumer product companies, including three CEO roles and more than two decades doing business in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His past experience includes time as both a vendor partner and a competitor to Target, and he brings insights from those roles to the company today.
Cornell has served on the board of directors for Yum! Brands since September 2015 and is a past director of Polaris Industries, Inc. He also serves on the board for UCLA’s Anderson School of Management Board of Visitors, providing strategic guidance to the dean in advancing the school’s mission, as well as the boards of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Attract and retain top talent by providing your managers with “must-have” leadership skills.
Building People Capability First Leads To:
Have you ever experienced a failure? What did you learn?
If your colleague disagreed with you, how would you respond?
Feedback is a gift, something we have lost in Corporate America. Becky says, “If I am not giving you feedback, then I am not investing in you. If I’m not getting feedback, people aren’t invested in me.”
What is the best piece of constructive feedback you’ve ever received?
David’s passion is to make the world a better place by developing leaders at all ages through David Novak Leadership, his family’s Lift-a-Life Foundation, Lead4Change, Global Game Changers and The Novak Leadership Institute at the University of Missouri.
Novak has been recognized as “2012 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s, one of the “Top People in Business” by FORTUNE and one of the “100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review…