Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

Seven Insights on Leadership, Success and Diversity from Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good

Photo of Lynn Good when she was announced by Duke Energy as their new CEO and President in June, 2013

Photo of Lynn Good when she was announced by Duke Energy as their new CEO and President in June, 2013

As often as I can, I try to attend the Triangle (NC) Business Journal’s quarterly “Power Breakfasts” where area business leaders are invited to hear from key large corporate executives (see links at the bottom of this blog to a past blog about another TBJ Power Breakfast, and to two TBJ articles about Duke Energy.)

Yes, Duke Energy can be considered quite controversial with their sudden turnover in leadership after the Duke Energy – Progress Energy merger and with the 2014 Dan River coal ash spill. And some of these subjects were broached at this breakfast, but I often more listen for leadership and diversity topics from these speakers since those are my consulting areas.

As a diversity consultant, I do appreciate hearing from a female senior corporate leader, especially one like Lynn Good, who was ranked by Fortune Magazine as the 13th most powerful woman in business.

Here are the 7 insights I noted that Lynn shared around leadership and diversity at this March 1, 2016 breakfast:

1. As a senior leader of 28,000 people, Lynn feels it is very important to develop a culture of collaboration and inspiring others.

2. It is critical for people to hear the corporate vision and messages and understand that their role is important in the larger picture.

3. Diversity is indeed important – the strongest solution is reached when multiple views are brought to the table.

4. The three foundations of Duke Energy’s culture are safety, integrity and service.

5. Lynn Good herself is an excellent role model for success and work-life balance. When asked about what most satisfies her in life, she responded “I love what I do (at work) but am truly satisfied at home with a family and 2 college age sons.”

6. Diversity is important to Duke Energy since they want to have a workforce that reflects the markets they serve.

7. Their innovative diversity efforts include their “Aging in Place” initiative where more senior employees are paired with junior employees to foster knowledge transfer.

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As mentioned at the top of this blog, here are links to my past blog about an earlier TBJ Power Breakfast I wrote about, and to two TBJ articles published soon after the breakfast meeting:

Link to past blog on an earlier TBJ Power Breakfast I attended: “Career and Leadership Inspiration from a Local Business Executive” with former Biogen RTP Site Executive Machelle Sanders.

The TBJ’s more in depth article about all items Lynn Good discussed at this power breakfast.

A second article from the TBJ about Duke Energy restructuring and impact on the RTP, NC area workforce.

Why Highlight Someone’s Diversity? Aren’t we all Humans?

Michael Sam was co-SEC conference defensive player of the year in 2013 at the University of Missouri and was the first active NCAA college football player to come out as gay.  (Photo from nbcnews.com)

Michael Sam was co-SEC conference defensive player of the year in 2013 at the University of Missouri and was the first active NCAA college football player to come out as gay. (Photo from nbcnews.com)

NOTE: This blog does contain several links to other interesting pertinent blog entries – please do explore them!

When I publish blogs like my recent “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating,” I always sit back and shudder, waiting for the comments like “Why do you have to point out that they are gay? It’s completely irrelevant.” I received several comments in that vein when I wrote a blog (link)about the coming out of college football star Michael Sam. One person wrote on my Facebook page about the post, “Who cares if this dude is gay?” And another more outrageous comment: “This people making more of a deal out of gay sports stars than being a Christian is getting old ! We are a nation built on god guns and freedom, not giving a broke **** if you’re gay or straight.”

So I am going to ask a few questions:
• Is it important to highlight women who become CEOs of major global corporations?

Ginni Rometty as CEO of the highly respected huge global company of IBM serves as an excellent role model for women aspiring to senior leadership roles in the corporate world.

Ginni Rometty as CEO of the highly respected huge global company of IBM serves as an excellent role model for women aspiring to senior leadership roles in the corporate world.


• How about African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans or Asian-Americans who achieve great accomplishments in business or government?
• How about a person who overcomes a major physical disability to excel in a sport or in the business world? I am a big fan of a local group here in North Carolina called “Bridge II Sports” which I highlighted in a past blog “My 2014 National Disability Employment Awareness Month Blog – Bridge II Sports.”
• How about people with learning disabilities who become fully productive members of our society?
"Bridge II Sports" is an excellent organization demonstrating that people with physical disabilities can participate in rigorous activities.

“Bridge II Sports” is an excellent organization demonstrating that people with physical disabilities can participate in rigorous activities.


I feel there are two very important reasons to highlight a person’s diversity in this way:

1) It is great to have a wide range of diverse role models so that children growing up will get the strong message that nothing should hold you back from achieving your dreams. With all the negative messages out there around various diverse groups, we all need these positive role models and examples.

2) And it highlights the strengths and advantages of diversity. Companies, teams, countries are stronger when they can embrace the wide diversity that each unique person can contribute to the group.

And we should also remember when highlighting diversity, that straight white men are also a critical part of our rich diversity mix! (see my blog “Diversity and Straight White Men – 4 Key Thoughts”)

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