2014 Global Leadership Summit Session 2: Carly Fiorina #GLS14


Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Opportunity International Global Board Chair

SESSION 2: Defining Leadership

  • Named Fortune’s Most Powerful Woman in Business for six consecutive years
  • Under her leadership, Hewlett-Packard doubled in revenue to $90B, generated 11 patents per day and led the market for all of its product categories
  • A sought-after opinion leader and frequent commentator in both broadcast and print media
  • Founder of One Woman Initiative, a global ambassador for Opportunity International, and chairman of Good 360, the world’s largest philanthropy organization

Session Notes

  • What you are is God’s gift to you; what you make of yourself is your gift to God. (plaque given to her by her mother)
  • When working as a secretary it was her boss who saw the potential in her, thought she could be more.
  • Human potential is the only truly unlimited resource in our world.
  • Bureaucracies crush potential. They forget who they are there to serve.
  • What unlocks human potential?
  • The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential of others.
  • Leadership is not management.
  • A manager works within the constraints of the environment. Leadership is about changing the order of things.
  • MLK didn’t start by changing the people in power but by unlocking the potential in people without power.
  • Nelson Mandela didn’t become a leader because he was president. He became president because he was a leader.
  • Jesus was a nobody who led other nobodies.
  • People think a great speech is leadership. Words are not enough. The most important part of leadership is what leaders do.
  • Leadership framework… [drew a square]
    • [top] Strategy, goals, vision – where, why, how
    • [right] Organization, team, structure, process – how are we going to work together to get this done
      • in some orgs, processes are in conflict with goals
      • in some orgs, lots of processes but not driven by any goals or vision
      • reorganization can be a temporary illusion of progress, doing something.
    • [bottom] Metrics – how are we going to measure progress
      • What gets measured is what gets done.
    • [left] Culture, behavior
      • People listen to the talk for a while, then they start watching actions.
      • Actions speak louder than words
      • If you do not reward/punish stated values, people figure out what really matters is results
  • An organization cannot achieve its potential if it does not empower its people to achieve their potential.
  • 20% of people are change agents. 20% of people are resistant. 60% are skeptics waiting to be engaged.
  • Leadership is a profoundly human gift available to all.
  • True leadership requires faith.
  • Faith gives us the gift of empathy and optimism, both essential to leadership.
  • Leadership is more about faith in others than confidence in oneself.
  • Leadership is a choice. Choose to change the order of things and unlock the potential of others.


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