Big Ideas

A New Model for Teamwork

Convene talked to corporate executive and speaker Michelle Stacy about building teams that enhance the meeting experience.

stacy-mStacy has served as president of Keurig and, before that, in a variety of leadership positions with Gillette, overseeing brands such as Crest, Oral-B, and Mach3. She serves on the boards of directors of Tervis Tumbler Company and Young Innovations Inc., and is an expert in residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab.

What will you be talking about at Convening Leaders 2016?

We all have to understand what it takes to lead. Particularly in formulating meetings, we’re all about creating teams to create a great meeting experience. Some of the things that I’ll talk about are, how do we engage all the individuals in a team, because it’s when teams are fully engaged that they’re at their most effective. Teams do best when each individual is valued.

What is the most common mistake that leaders make when it comes to engaging or motivating their employees?

One of the big things that leaders make the mistake of is not showing that they’re human, and not being willing to apologize when they’re human in a bad way sometimes. We’re not always at our best, right? I think great leaders know when they’re not at their best and they’re willing to say, “I’m not at my best right now,” or “I apologize for that.”

You’ll also be speaking at the Women@Work forum at Convening Leaders.

My women’s speech is really going to talk about building a career. My career path involved being part of a dual-career family. I’ve raised two children; they’re both adults now. What are some of the compromises as you build a career, and is a dual-career, full-time working arrangement the right thing for you? One of the biggest things that I learned in my career was the concept of stepping back for a while. Every time I’ve stepped back from my career, it’s given me new perspectives so that when I stepped forward again, I was a much better leader and a much better performer.

Do you have one takeaway that you’d like your audience to go away with?

Great leadership and great innovation come when people can be themselves and share their humanity. It comes when they respect and value all of their team members. 

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso formerly was executive editor of Convene.