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From the Desk of Steve Rendle: What Makes a Strong Leader?

Tags: Life at VF

From the Desk of Steve Rendle: What Makes a Strong Leader?

August 9, 2017

Since assuming the role of VF CEO earlier this year, Steve Rendle engages in frequent discussions with VF leaders across the globe about effective leadership. The following post was shared by Steve on LinkedIn earlier today.  

I am regularly asked about the characteristics I look for in a strong business leader, especially in the six months since I became CEO of VF Corporation. I’m fortunate to have worked with and learned from some incredible leaders throughout my career. Their mentorship and my experiences have shaped my view on the essential qualities that I believe position a leader – and an organization – for success. Here are the leadership traits that I expect of myself, VF’s leadership team and, truly, everyone throughout our global organization.  

 #1: Candor: Leaders must be unafraid to have open, honest discussions about topics that may be uncomfortable. Difficult conversations are important, and when we are willing to be candid and authentic with one another, we can more quickly get back on the path toward achieving our shared goals.

#2: Commitment: Leaders must demonstrate two levels of commitment: a commitment to driving the overall business strategy and to enabling their teams to execute. To truly deliver results, leaders need to be adept in both, and committed to stay the course when challenges arise.

#3: Empowerment: Leaders know what’s expected of them, and they have a clear understanding of how to bring a strategy to life through their own actions and the leadership of others. Nimble organizations need empowered professionals at all levels.

#4: Collaboration: Leaders understand the power of “we.” At VF, we know that we are stronger and more effective when we harness the collective knowledge and abilities of our global workforce. The more we embrace collaboration, the more capable we are as a team.

#5: Accountability: Leaders take pride in being accountable. When you make commitments, you must hold yourself accountable to deliver on those promises. There are always people depending on you.

When VF associates – and our leaders specifically – embody these characteristics, our workplace culture is enriched and our business and brands succeed. Our consumers - the people who love and use our products – and the communities where we live and work benefit, too.

Leadership isn’t defined by your title or position in your organization. It’s determined by the values you live by and the leadership characteristics you embody every day.