By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
Nestlé USA

5 Questions Every Effective Leader Should Ask Herself

Nestlé's Chief People Officer shares her experience building strong and collaborative teams, starting with an honest look in the mirror

Below is an article originally written by Judy Cascapera published on November 29, 2018. This article is about PowerToFly Partner NESTLE. Go to NESTLE's company page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

At Nestlé, we're working toward creating a culture of leadership that holds a mirror up to every one of us, at every level of management. It's a commitment we've made to our tens of thousands of employees across the country, and a sign of our constant quest to improve how we work.

As the Chief People Officer at Nestlé USA, I understand that being an effective and strong leader is itself a full-time job. The best managers I've known or worked for over my career know how to be effective: creating the right culture and communicating clear objectives and strategies cultivates a highly motivated and performance-driven workforce. Strong leaders also understand that leading others is a privilege that is earned every day. At Nestlé, we know we can only serve our consumers if our employees are all-in at every level of the business.

Nestlé USA CEO Steve Presley talks about the virtues of "people leaders," those who empower their employees to make decisions and to really take ownership of the work they do. These types of leaders — who are highly desired at Nestlé — build a workforce of leaders at every level, not just a sea of drones. In the marketplace, this translates into a fast-moving, agile, collaborative, and courageous workforce that is consumer-led at all times.

So whether you're a leader already, an aspiring one, or simply an employee who wants to understand the ingredients of sound leadership, here are five questions every strong leader should ask herself or himself:

1. Are you modeling the behavior you want to see in your employees?

There's nothing more demoralizing than hearing one thing from your supervisor and then seeing them do another. The best leaders… well, lead. And they do so by example. If you're telling your employees they should hold each other accountable, then you must hold yourself accountable, and let them hold you accountable. If you tell your staff that collaboration with other departments is essential, then you should embody collaboration in your interactions with your team and those across the business. Modeling is one of the most impactful ways to drive change in your organization.

2. Are team objectives clear and measurable, and have they been communicated?

Imagine being dropped off in the middle of a new city and told to find your way to a hidden-away restaurant without your smart phone or any sense of direction. That's essentially what a manager does if she or he fails to give the team clear and measurable objectives. A good leader makes sure that each team member knows their role, the expectations and what success looks like. A good leader listens to the people around them and works to understand other points of view. The best stories of success are written when team members know how the story should end.

3. Are you providing meaningful and actionable feedback to help encourage the right behaviors?

One of the greatest opportunities for growth in any organization comes during employee performance reviews. But the most effective leaders constantly provide thoughtful and actionable feedback throughout the year, not just during an employee's annual review. Rewards can come in many shapes and sizes — whether pay raises, bonuses, time off, new responsibilities, or title changes — but the time and effort strong leaders put into coaching up their employees can be the greatest gift of all. Coaching can help employees thrive in their current roles and well into their careers.

4. Are you cultivating a positive and empowered environment in which employees can do their best work?

A workplace team often takes on the personality of the team's manager. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how that person leads. Even within a single organization, it's pretty easy to identify the teams that work collaboratively, seem to genuinely enjoy one another, and engage in their work with energy, creativity, and vigor. On those teams, it's a good bet that the manager exudes those same characteristics and instills a positive and empowering vibe. On other side of the spectrum, many of us have seen what a negative leader looks like. They see roadblocks everywhere, rather than bridges, and their currency is "can'ts" rather than "cans." That approach has the ability to sink a team. Employees do their best work when they are eager to model, rather than navigate around, the approach of their leader.

5. Are you willing to change?

Leaders in any organization are tasked with setting agendas and goals and, ultimately, steering change so that the greater team can succeed. We ask a lot of our employees. Whether through coaching, workshops, or other types of training, we often ask them to change what they do or how they do it. But leaders must be willing to change, too. I've been a manager long enough to understand that self-improvement never ends. Any leader set in his or her ways will be telling their team that the status quo is good enough and that leadership means infallibility. A manager who leads with humility and admits mistakes will bring credibility to the role and support trust in the workplace.

At Nestlé, we're working toward creating a culture of leadership that holds a mirror up to every one of us, at every level of management. It's a commitment we've made to our tens of thousands of employees across the country, and a sign of our constant quest to improve how we work. To succeed, we need a workforce that encourages personal growth and professional excellence so that we can continue to deliver incredible products to our customers.


27 Companies with Impressive Mentorship Opportunities

January is National Mentorship Month— the perfect time to focus on growing and building important relationships with mentors that will positively affect your professional career.

Research shows that mentorship greatly improves career outcomes by providing professional guidance, skill development, and support through major work and life transitions.

Diversity & Inclusion

The Top 4 Things You Can Do to Attract and Retain Employees in 2022

What Diverse Talent Want in 2022

Diversity at work has never been more measured or discussed. But how can you create an environment where diverse talent can succeed?

As a company that is focused on creating opportunities for underrepresented talent, we wanted to provide companies with data-based, practical strategies to help them find, retain, and uplift diverse talent. Using our findings will help you ensure that the diverse talent already on your team wants to stay, and show diverse talent looking for new opportunities that your company is the one they should join.


Get Ready For the Next Step in Your Career - Prepare For an Interview With Datadog

💎 Going for that next step in your professional career may seem scary. Don’t miss the valuable insight from a recruiter at Datadog about their interview process!

📼 Watch this video to get key advice for the next step in your career. In this video, you’ll meet Adriana Buss, Senior Technical Recruiter at Datadog, who’ll share a walkthrough of the company’s application process and what to expect when applying for a job at Datadog.

👉 Datadog is hiring! Check out the company’s open jobs:

Senior Product Designer (USA remote!)
Software Engineer (USA remote!)
Team Lead, Engineering - Compute (Europe remote!)


Remote Work Tips: Connect and Engage in a Distributed Environment

Remote Work Tips: Fostering Belonging in a Distributed Environment

💎 We’re living in times when remote work is becoming more and more typical for employees. And many companies have organized hybrid workplaces, with some people coming to the office and some working from home. How can teams foster belonging in this kind of distributed environment?

© Rebelmouse 2020