LEADERSPEAK: CAR­RIE TEFFNER

CAR­RIE TEFFNER CFO and EVP, Crocs Global

Business Today - - THE BREAKOUT ZONE -

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.

PHO­TO­GRAPH BY SHEKHAR GHOSH

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