Identify one or more traits in your colleague’s selected leader that inspire you in your own innovative approach to leadership.
Please reply to my colleague’s postings listed below in about 135 words each posting separately In 135 words You will respond to the postings below with your insight and opinion in about 135 words. I have attached a sample.
Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ posts in one or more of the following ways:
• If you are familiar with your colleague’s example of an innovative leader, suggest one or more additional traits that leader demonstrates/demonstrated.
• Share an insight you gained from the example of a leader your colleague provided.
• Identify one or more traits in your colleague’s selected leader that inspire you in your own innovative approach to leadership.
Two weeks ago, after dodging Covid for two years while working in a hospital, I tested positive after having symptoms that I thought were just allergies to cedar pollen. I jumped on my Wal-Mart app and ordered every cold and flu medicine I could find. As I was using one product after another, including allergy eye drops and nasal spray, it occurred to me that I believed the words on each box would alleviate my symptoms, and they did. I am amazed at any company that produces food and drug products. Not only do they have to operate under an enormous amount of necessary regulation, but they also must continually find ways to be innovative.
Although this company is not the first to come to mind when thinking about innovation and innovative leadership, I highlight McCormack and its CEO, Lawrence Kurzius. Previously he served as the CEO of Zatarain’s before joining McCormack in 2003 (Sorvino, 2019). In an interview with Kurzius, he said, “We take the science of flavor very seriously” (Sorvino, 2019). The science of flavor. Selling herbs and creating seasonings is not just an assembly line process of harvesting, processing, and packaging, but there is a science behind the variety of product offerings. Heatless evaporators, induction burners, and centrifuges are part of the complex process of making oils and liquids that offer another way to season food aside from dried herbs (Sorvino, 2019).
Aside from using unique processes to increase product array, Kurzius understands that he needs to innovate in many ways. For example, our younger generation is sensitive to where and how materials are sourced. He intends to be transparent about where their raw materials come from and how they are processed (Sorvino, 2019). He also plans to use artificial intelligence to create unique flavor profiles, track the success of these new combinations and automate the processing of products (Sorvino, 2019). They are even using artificial intelligence to evaluate the potential success of any variety of unique flavors and products and calculate the ultimate impact on company growth.
Kurzius took a risk to expand the company by buying a food assets group in the United Kingdom which cost more than all the prior acquisitions the company had made in one hundred and thirty years (Sorvino, 2019). Initially, their stock took a hit but ultimately rebounded. Popular products included in the acquisition propelled the company from being number ten in the ranking of largest condiment companies to number 2 (Sorvino, 2019).
In reading about Lawrence Kurzius’s approach to leading McCormack, he uses a combination of risk-taking and looking to the future to find ways to innovate. He was not entirely sure his acquisitions would lead to growth, and he feared that it might cause McCormack’s market share to drop, and, briefly, it did (Sorvino, 2019). But he thought the acquisition ultimately would achieve the results he thought it would, and he was right. He also realizes that people are constantly looking for new flavor combinations and have less time to prepare foods, so he’s using advancements in technology to bring new, time-saving products to the consumer’s table.
Even after all we have been learning about the actual nature of creativity and innovation, I still find it challenging to think that I can be creative. However, in looking at Mr. Kurzius’s approach, he is just looking at the consumers and attempting to meet their needs or taking a strategic business approach through acquisition. I also appreciate that he incorporates science and technology to enhance and expand what they are already doing. Looking at his approach to leadership makes me realize I can do what I’m already doing in my field, but I can approach it from different angles and fresh perspectives.
Becoming an influential leader of innovative organizations rests in many critical ways on a foundation of ways of being, ways of thinking, and ways of conducting yourself. Self-awareness and insight into yourself as a leader and as a member of a social group will determine how much you contribute to or cause innovation in your world (Doss, 2015). That said a very formidable example of an innovative leader is I draw my inspiration is Oprah.
I read an article from Britannica (2022), Oprah Winfrey (born January 29, 1954, Kosciusko, Mississippi, U.S.), an American television personality, actress, and entrepreneur whose syndicated daily talk show was among the most popular of the genre. At age 19, Winfrey became a news anchor for the local CBS television station. After graduating from Tennessee State University in 1976, she was a reporter and co-anchor for the ABC News affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland. She found herself constrained by the objectivity required of news reporting, and in 1977 she became cohost of the Baltimore morning show People Are Talking 1984. She moved to Chicago to host the faltering talk show AM Chicago.
Winfrey’s honest and engaging personality quickly turned the program into a success, and in 1985 it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. Syndicated nationally in 1986, the program became the highest-rated television talk show in the United States and earned several Emmy Awards. Fast forward to 2013 Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She won the Cecil B. DeMille Award (a Golden Globe for lifetime achievement) in 2018. Her impassioned speech in which she called for racial and gender equality—was widely seen as one of the ceremony’s most memorable moments.
Explain what about that individual’s leadership inspires you to take a more innovative approach to your own leadership
Even though she and I went through similar childhood trauma, she did not let it stop her, and she is who she is today because she used her self-awareness to not only succeed to achieve her goals but also care for others. According to Lanaj (2018), such self-awareness may motivate leaders to engage in activities that protect their energy at work. Second, taking a few minutes in the morning to think and write about aspects of oneself that make one a good leader is likely to energize leaders and make them more influential at work. I would like to be like her or more than her successfully; hence I will keep reforging myself till I make it.