Exploring Leadership, Talent Development and Innovation with a Local Senior ABB Executive

NOTE: I include several links to past blogs and resources I wrote that support the six leadership points Greg Scheu shared in his session.

C-Suites Perspectives April Speaker Greg Scheu, CEO of ABB North America and global head of the Business Integration and Group Services

C-Suites Perspectives April Speaker Greg Scheu, CEO of ABB North America and global head of the Business Integration and Group Services


In as many as three months, I attended my second “C-Suite Perspectives” breakfast hosted by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. It is really encouraging to hear from senior leaders who are truly enlightened and have a real heart for people and ethical leadership in today’s business world. It’s not all about cost cutting, layoffs, squeezing everything to make every ounce of profit; instead there are senior leaders who understand the larger picture that by leading in a way that develops talent and an organization that focuses on people in the long run leads to optimal business success.

In February, I attended the session with Jay Parker, CEO of Lenovo North America. (Link to my blog about that session.) The April 23rd session featured Greg Scheu, the CEO of ABB (link) North America and the head of Business Integration and Group Services globally. ABB is a global innovative leader in power and automation technologies with annual revenue of $42B and with 150,000 employees in 100 different countries.

Here are the six leadership points shared by Greg from his own career journey:

1. Your personal passions and aspirations need to align with the company in which you work. This will maximize enjoyment from work and career development. (The first blog I wrote – link – when I started my consulting practice is about being passionate about what I do)

2. If you take great care of your customers, they will take great care of you.

3. If you take good care of your people, they will stay. Part of this point is that a good leader needs to realize that he or she cannot do it alone and needs to build and lead empowered teams to sustain success.

4. Life is bigger than work. That also means that members of your team may go through rough periods in their personal lives and a good leader needs to be aware of that and provide support and understanding during those times.

5. Mentoring is key; it is very important to learn from others. (See by blog about mentoring)

6. Being a global leader requires a global mindset. I wrote a paper on leading in the diverse global economy (link) which is available on the Workforce Diversity Network website.

I look forward to more of these inspiring informational sessions from the Raleigh Greater Chamber of Commerce!

Career Road Mapping / Career Management – Part 2

It has been awhile! Back in April I published Part 1 of this series about career road mapping, an innovative approach that I offer to corporations and professional societies using one page career maps of successful professionals within a targeted functional area as a way of providing career guidance and ideas to junior employees. Here is a link to that blog.

I presented this approach to a standing room only crowd in October at the North Carolina SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) state conference. In addition to presenting the career road mapping process, I also provided an overview of five career development concepts:

1. A good career development plan will have a mix of both short term development goals and activities to improve skills in the current position, and of looking out 3, 5 or even 10 years at long term development goals.
2. Ultimately, each employee owns and is responsible for his or her own career. Only the individual themselves know what they want out of a career, what they like and dislike, what really gets them enthused about their vocation. We can provide tools to help employees discover their optimal vocations, but they need to do the work and explore within themselves.
3. Give thought to whether you prefer to be a specialist with a deep expert knowledge in a specific area, or a generalist who understands more of the “big picture” and enjoys moving across different functional areas. Also it is possible to switch between being a specialist and a generalist during one’s career.
4. Analyzing the next position should not be an emotional decision, but instead an analytical one taking into account the importance of different attributes of a job, and comparing current position to the possible new position. See below for a tool to use to do this exercise.

5. Mentoring is one of the most productive yet underutilized tools to use in career development. In fact I recommend having multiple mentors that could include leaders in your current position, someone in the job you aspire to next, and perhaps someone in the same life situation. Link to my August 17th blog on mentoring.

If you would like to discuss how I can help your organization with a career road mapping project, or if you want a copy of my presentation on this topic, please contact me, [email protected]