May 26, 2015
Every two years, the P&G Alumni Network hosts a global reunion. Since I left P&G six years ago, I have attended two reunions and have been blown away each time. This is an impressive group of people who gather for a weekend of learning, fun, and connections. It is always a fabulous management leadership experience and this past weekend’s reunion at the Fontainebleau in Miami was no different.
P&G alums still feel a strong sense of community to P&G and to each other. Joining P&G is like joining an elite group of leaders. It’s a very intense experience that stays with you long after you leave the company. Like athletic teams, P&G binds people together for their entire life. And P&Gers make it a priority to stay connected. The alumni group covers a diverse group of industries, which makes the lessons and stories even more valuable. These are my biggest takeaways from notable P&G alums at the event:
- “Dreaming big is not just an opportunity, it is an expectation. The best people want to work on the biggest challenges.” Lisa Gevelber, VP of Marketing, Google
- “Make your history a good history. Your reputation is everything. Keep this in mind every day.” Melanie Healey, Retiring Group President, P&G / Verizon Board of Directors
- “Careers are less like a ladder and more like a jungle gym.” Gary Briggs, CMO, Facebook (NOTE: Gary is not a P&G alum, but he is a friend of P&G and spoke at the reunion)
- “Look for possibilities and progress, don’t compare and justify.” Alicia Enciso, CMO, Nestlé USA
- “Never underestimate the power of basic, simple questions.” Anne Sempowski Ward, CEO, Thymes
- “Think of your career as a happiness journey: have a higher purpose, be curious, be open to serendipity, integrate your business and personal life, and take time to reflect.” Selina Yoon, CEO Master Communications / Growth Consultant, The Jim Stengel Company
- “P&G’s unique sense of community may be its enduring competitive advantage, and we need to understand why it exists, why it matters, and what could threaten it.” John Pepper, Former Chairman of The Walt Disney Company
- “We need more honest discussion in business, less excessive politeness and politics.” Melanie Healey, Retiring Group President, P&G / Verizon Board of Directors
- “Here is my equation for success on brands and business: [IQ+EQ+TQ+BQ]CQ”
(Translation: Intelligence, emotion, technology, bloody quick, with a creativity quotient.) Kevin Roberts, CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi
- “Levi’s was the original Silicon Valley startup. We blossomed during the gold rush and we need to rekindle that spirit every single day.” Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi’s
This weekend showcased a lot of people speaking personally about finding a great match of passions and purpose of the company they work for. They shared stories of personal decision-making and reflecting on how they want to spend their life. When asked what they are most proud of in their career, these leaders pointed to the people they have developed. There really was a strong sense of leadership and creating leaders.
What are you doing each day to create this type of excitement and energy within your organization? What are you doing to develop these types of leaders on your team?