Corporate Advisory Council Member Profile: Michelle Wood
The Fisher Leadership Initiative has recently launched its Corporate Advisory Council – a group of high-profile, Fortune 500 leaders across Central Ohio to discuss pressing leadership and leadership development issues facing organizations and support Fisher in developing relevant content, pursuing new research and creating new services that will help fill the leadership void across organizations.
The following profile from Michelle Wood, director of talent management at American Electric Power, reveals her reasons for joining Fisher's Corporate Advisory Council and her personal insights on leadership.
Q: What was your motivation for joining the Fisher Leadership Initiative’s Corporate Advisory Council?
At American Electric Power, leadership plays a key role in our efforts to meet our business goals related to safety, reliability, and fostering a positive work culture. We are continually exploring how we can better support and equip our leaders to be even more effective. The council provided an opportunity to share our perspectives about leadership with the university while learning from them and other council members. AEP has partnered with The Ohio State University in a number of ways over the years. When they reached out about the advisory council, it was another opportunity to continue our partnership.
Q: What can businesses/organizations learn about leadership from institutions such as Fisher College of Business? And vice versa?
I think this effort is another great example where businesses and education institutions can partner for even greater success. Businesses can offer perspectives and insights around the current realities of work, challenges leaders are facing, and current and emerging capabilities leaders need to succeed. Education institutions can provide research about leadership and best practices as well as tools that can help us think about, talk about, and develop leadership.
Q: What does effective leadership look like?
This is a question a lot of people are talking about, particularly from the perspective of whether effective leadership is different given the changes we have seen in organizations over the last 2 years. In some ways, effective leadership at its heart continues to be rooted in key elements -- setting clear expectations, offering feedback and coaching to support success, getting to know each of your employees on a personal and professional level, building trust, being a role model for the behaviors and actions you want to see in others, developing employees, and facilitating change. Yet at the same time, how leaders do that is likely changing. As we consider organizations where more employees are not at work locations every day (e.g., remote or hybrid), as we see the growing emphasis on all types of well-being, and as more technology is introduce to our lives, we have the opportunity to incorporate new ways of effectively leading.
Q: What is the best leadership advice you have received?
It is difficult to narrow down to just one piece of advice. Two that have stayed with me over the years include: the type of leadership / support needed can differ by individual and the situation and one’s leadership style needs to be true to who that person is and his or her own strengths.
Q: How will this council impact the community or business community in any meaningful way?
Strong and effective leadership leads to successful organizations. Successful organizations employ individuals in careers that are meaningful and provide a living wage. Ultimately that helps build stronger communities.
Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.
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