Corporate Advisory Council Member Profile: Ola Snow

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 Ola Snow, chief human resources officer at Cardinal Health, 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?

First, we’ve had a long-standing partnership with The Ohio State University, and we believe strongly in their administration, faculty, staff and students.  As I consider the purpose of our council, I find that it will advance our collective talent and leadership practices in our businesses and throughout the community. Ohio State’s mission through this council, along with this group of leading companies, will surely widen our reach and make a difference in leadership in the future.

Q: What can businesses/organizations learn about leadership from institutions such as Fisher College of Business? And vice vera?

The learnings will be multi-faceted. Most organizations – universities and businesses alike – are facing similar talent challenges. The combination of research, expertise and practical experiences will generate many benefits to our stakeholders.  By drawing upon the collective insights of this group of leaders and their expansive networks, there is great opportunity to collaborate and innovate on key challenges we all share. 

Q: What does effective leadership look like?

First and foremost, effective leadership starts with self-awareness. Knowing who you are, your gifts and abilities, as well as those areas where you willingly admit are not your strengths, is the first step. 

With strong self-awareness, leaders can more acutely focus on their own development and will build complementary and diverse teams – which is key to an organization’s success. The science behind complementary and diverse teams is one that we believe strongly in at Cardinal Health.

Leaders who bring their authentic best self and are who willing to show vulnerability and empathy can create strong followership and become talent magnets. Leaders must be stewards of the business and the culture and those leaders that get this right succeed in the end.  I’ve seen this time and time again.

Q: What is the best leadership advice you have received?

A mentor and manager gave me great advice about leadership and surrounding yourself with the absolute best.  Surround yourself with people that think differently, will challenge you and the enterprise, are innovative and are passionate about change.  If you wake up every day thinking about how you can make your peers, team and employees wildly successful – you will be successful as a leader as well.

Q: How will this council impact the community or business community in any meaningful way?

The council intends to shape business practices, help firms become more resilient and effective while also increasing employee satisfaction. I believe I can speak on behalf of the full group to say that we all have a strong purpose to serve in our communities. I envision we will engage in the community to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion; to tackle talent and leadership needs; and to address culture and workplace efforts. 

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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.