Corporate Advisory Council Member Profile: Vinita Clements

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 Vinita Clements, Chief Human Resource Officer for Nationwide Insurance, 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?

Nationwide, like many other companies, looks very different than it did even a few years ago. The way we work, the skills our associates need to succeed, the intentional inclusivity needed in our hybrid and virtual environments all have evolved rapidly.

It’s so important that as we evolve, we continue a strong focus on developing leaders who can be successful not only today, but for the future. So, joining the advisory council was an obvious choice for me.

What’s great about Nationwide and the Fisher Leadership Initiative (FLI) is that we have shared values – and a common passion for helping to shape future leaders. Those who emerge from the program will be our future leaders of Nationwide and other central Ohio companies.

With business leaders working together, sharing real world experiences and the emerging trends for what is, and will be, we can continue to ensure these programs are helping to build a strong workforce of the future – and for Nationwide, to continue delivering on our mission to protect people, businesses, and futures with extraordinary care.

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

First and foremost, Fisher delivers excellence in executive education and professional development which helps grow individuals and organizations as a whole. Those who participate in their programs benefit from the research and scholarship around leadership.

Partnership with institutions like Fisher are two-fold. For example, Nationwide partnered with the Fisher program last spring to bring in MBA interns. During this internship, the students had a place to safely learn about the business and how to consult and succeed. And vice versa, Nationwide was able to learn about what recent college grads need from companies too.

FLI creates a forum where we can learn from each other about business to drive organizations forward, confront challenges facing our businesses and communities, and learn about the emerging needs of companies and talent.

Q: What does effective leadership look like?

At Nationwide, we define great leaders as those who live our values – first and foremost, putting people first. Effective leaders are most successful when they work with and through others to achieve business results, know the value of inclusively building and maintaining relationships within and across teams, and value the importance of innovating so that our products and services continually improve to better serve our customers. They adapt quickly in ways that help the business anticipate and respond to challenges, stay agile to adjust in the moment and remain resilient to bounce back from the unexpected – all while helping their teams do the same. Effective leaders understand the importance of continuous learning and how curiosity helps drive greater business results while providing extraordinary care through honest yet, empathetic coaching to help people be even more effective in a caring and engaging environment.

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

Value all people and listen to understand diverse perspectives. This is a key to high performing teams and great leadership.

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

Bringing senior leaders together to share experiences and help shape the program will build on its real-world impact. Everyday things are changing in business…things we couldn’t have predicted even two years ago. Bringing people together who have experience and who are living this day-to-day can help shape a program that will be meaningful to new and future leaders.

Additionally, Columbus (as part of the Midwest) has been referenced as the Silicon Valley of the Midwest. Programs such as this can help continue to elevate the companies in Columbus and the leaders that come out of this area, which will help attract startup companies and workers to this region. 

The opportunity to learn from each other and collaborate helps strengthen our businesses, and ultimately our communities.

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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.