LEADERSPEAK: CARRIE TEFFNER
CARRIE TEFFNER CFO and EVP, Crocs Global
Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career
A. Setting up a financial shared-service centre for a large multinational. I had no previous experience, and it required me to relocate my family to another state, and it challenged me to lead, inspire and drive change on a scale I had never done before. It was scary, empowering and a career-defining opportunity for me.
Q. Your best teacher in business A. There are many, but if I have to pick one, it will be David Bergeron, my second boss. He took the time to teach me how to think, question who I am and understand the contribution I am capable of making. By following his examples, I have learnt to be passionate about every job and made an impact wherever I worked.
Q. Key management lessons for young people
A. I have a few guiding principles that may help. Decide what is important, personally and professionally. You have to figure this out to make career choices that will make you happy. Own your own development; no one can do it for you. Move laterally early in your career. Every new job need not be a promotion, but getting a breadth of experience will get you more opportunities. Finally, take risks. Projects that stretch you will help you learn what your true capabilities are.
Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have
A. I have worked for many leaders in my 30-year career. And I believe that people with high integrity and the ability to inspire are the best. If you want to engage and retain employees, these qualities are critical.