Expanding professional horizons

New partnership extends WAC wellness into the C-suite

Teri Citterman

Beyond integrity, what’s the one trait every great leader must possess?

Executive coach and WAC member Teri Citterman has asked countless leaders across diverse organizations that question and many others during a career that spans two decades of leadership coaching. Their answers helped inform Teri’s book, From the CEO’s Perspective: Leadership in Their Own Words.

Through a new partnership with Teri, including networking and coaching opportunities, the WAC aims to support members seeking not just personal well-being but also strong professional growth. “This exciting new partnership adds dimension and support to the WAC’s wellness mission beyond the traditional focus,” Vice President Membership & Marketing Michelle Pinson says. “Comprehensive wellness should consider the idea of reaching for one’s full leadership potential and achieving the professional and personal satisfaction that comes from sharing and contributing at an elevated level.”

We recently caught up with Teri to talk about the state of leadership today and how WAC members can improve their leadership skills and enrich their careers.

Q. There’s a lot of media coverage out there about a “leadership gap” in today’s workplace. How would you describe the state of leadership today?

A. We have a juxtaposition of leaders who lead with values, and leaders whose values are for sale to the highest bidder. We’ve never seen as many apology tours as we did last year. And we’ve seen a growing number of CEOs use their platform to raise awareness and bring societal change.

Q. So how do you lead or become an even better leader?

A. Today’s leaders must be willing to be curious and have courage to transform. But they also need to understand where growth is most important for themselves and for those around them. Those aren’t easy questions to answer.

Q. Any tips for current leaders looking to develop the next generation?

A. Spend the time. Mentor. Listen. A leader’s job is to spot those who have the natural skills of leadership and also a deep desire for personal growth because they want to do the job of a leader. Look for people with that combination and help them stretch.

Q. The WAC prides itself on promoting both sides of the work-life equation. What is your approach to finding that balance?

A. Commit to yourself. I work with executives with huge professional drive as well as a big desire for personal wellness. Physical and mental fitness is a differentiator. It’s the key to peak performance—both professionally and personally.

Q. What is a leader’s No. 1 job?

A. Leaders must have the courage to see and say what others fear—to be uncomfortable doing the hard things that must be done—and live with the power that comes from both failure and success.

As published in the March/April issue of WAC Magazine.

—Posted February 21, 2019

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