This week’s Leadership Tidbits with Coach Tee Wilson features the amazing Ms. Kristin Harper!
Kristin Harper is a global Vice President at Cardinal Health, a hundred and thirty billion dollar fortune fifteen healthcare company. Before transitioning to B2B healthcare, she built a deep general management experience in consumer packaged goods at Procter & Gamble and the Hershey Company. Kristin leads teams to develop strategies, innovation in equities, and marketing that drive increased sales profit and share for iconic brands including Crest, Oral-b, and Hershey’s Kisses, where her team delivered the largest share growth in seven years. She has two areas of passion which include growing businesses and brands and developing people to achieve their leadership potential within and outside of Cardinal health. She is deeply committed to giving back to her community. She is an active lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, minister at her church, and co-founder/board president of Pacesetters Unlimited Incorporated which provides mentoring and scholarships to African American youth. Kristin received her bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Florida A&M University. She and her husband, also a FAMU graduate, are the proud parents of three children. In 2015 they accomplished a bucket-list goal by establishing a $25,000 endowed scholarship for FAMU School of Business & Industry students. Kristin also co-chaired the largest grassroots fundraising campaign in FAMU’s history, raising over $130,000 in nine months to establish the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority fortitude endowed scholarship for FAMU female students.
To kick off the show, Kristin shares with us that her leadership journey started as a child, learning from her mother. As she continued further on her journey, Kristin explained to us that one of her most valuable lessons she learned was how to take calculated risks in order to try something new. When asked how she figures out when to take risks, she explained something she learned in business school called the weighted average scoring model. “At the end of the day when there are complex decisions and there is no right or wrong answer, I lay out all priorities and I give them a weight from 1-100 , and it has to add up to 100, then I give each factor a score. You then multiply the weight times your score and weigh your options.” Kristen shared with us that this has helped her make many decisions throughout her career and take those risks in order to jump into something new. She reminded listeners that ultimately if you want to take risks, you have to be willing to fail. “There’s no such thing as failure when you learn from it. No experience is wasted.” Kristin opened up and shared how she overcame one of her blindspots, which stemmed from her being an only child and not having to work in tandem with people for much of her life. She says, “I have learned to influence up, down, and across with my peers. The higher you go in an organization the less instructions you get. It becomes a combination of self reflection and indirect feedback from peers that helps you to grow and develop.” Near the conclusion of the interview, Kristin reminds you to build relationships! She explained to us that humility is very important and that feedback is a gift. “Apologize when you need to, ask for feedback, and engage with others in a way that lets them know that they matter.”
Overall, Kristin shared with us an enormous amount of leadership tidbits, here is a quick summary of some of them: take calculated risks, there are no right or wrong answers there are just trade offs so as you make decisions think about what you learn, learn what your blind spots are, give with no expectation, give from the heart, and don’t give more than you can afford to lose. She also reminded us to enjoy the moment, don’t forget to laugh and be spontaneous, create a culture where you can be vulnerable, organizational politics happens so you play or you get played, be humble, mentors coaches and sponsors are very important but you can also learn through observation and it’s important to have a wide variety of people who are being honest with you and helping you learn.
Be sure to check out the full podcast to hear more of Kristin Harper’s thoughts and leadership advice!!