Cynthia Billops

Cynthia Billops On Activated Leadership

Activated leaders are those who are positioned and motivated to drive their businesses to not only survive but to thrive.


Read the full transcript (edited for clarity):

Ten years ago, One Step Closer’s Executive Director Lara Dickinson and her co-founders asked themselves, ‘How can we work together on the hard stuff?’ And the result is this vibrant CEO community — these activated leaders that come together.

They’ve launched three initiatives so far. They’ve launched Climate Collaborative, they’ve launched this Packaging Collective that really focuses on renewable, more sustainable packaging, and then obviously J.E.D.I. Collaborative, which is nearest and dearest to my heart.

Activated leaders focus above the bottom line

What we mean by activated leaders are people who are focusing above the bottom line. They really want to make sure that they thrive and can sustain their business, but they need to do it in a particular way — in ways that are not harmful, in ways that are not extractive… in ways that are regenerative and renewable.

And so the idea is that allowing this group to easily come together, share their ideas, share their learning, and figure things out together is going to result in individually, them being able to move themselves and their businesses forward more quickly, but also harness the power of the group.

How CEOs can step up

We’re not suggesting that CEOs start micromanaging. But we absolutely are suggesting that what is important to the organization is what’s important to the CEO.

We need the CEO to constantly and consistently transparently weigh in in a way that makes it crystal clear that the way forward for the organization — what success looks like for the organization, especially in the natural products and CPG industry — is not business as usual. It’s innovation, it’s inclusiveness, it’s diversity.

It’s what is going to ultimately keep the business not just struggling and surviving along, but actually thriving. And by the business thriving, then the folks within the business are going to stay.

So that’s also one of the things that we all need to keep in mind is that if you have a set of employees who you can’t do without, then working on J.E.D.I. initiatives and J.E.D.I. practices is a very good way to ensure that they don’t go someplace else.

Interested in learning more about the program and how you can become involved? Reach out to Impactful Search®‘s Executive Director Rhonda Taylor via email here.

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Rebecca is the Senior Editorial Director at ForceBrands. She’s spent more than a decade on the editorial side of digital media, curating original content and managing social media audiences for impactful brands and businesses. She’s a natural storyteller with a love for connectivity and brand building.