Leading by Embracing Change with Colleen Soukup – Episode 75

Colleen Soukup

“There’s a time to lead from the front, and a time to lead from behind, and a time to lead by the side. And, I found that was a bit of a different model for me. I wanted to always lead from the front.”

Listen Here:

Episode Summary

Colleen Soukup is the Chief Procurement Officer and supply-chain transformation leader at General Mills. Colleen is responsible for global sourcing of all categories and, in her second role, she leads the transformation of supply chain to make it as agile and as future-ready as can be. Colleen is both a focused operational leader and a great people leader. She has a way of bringing best ideas out of her people, and creating an environment that fosters creativity and focus. Colleen is also a mother and wife and is grateful to work for an organization that has allowed her to remain a successful businessperson while balancing her personal life.

In this episode, Aviv and Colleen reflect on her role at General Mills and what she enjoys most about her work. Colleen shares how she’s leveraged opportunities to grow and evolve as a leader and, specifically, as a CPO. Colleen talks glowingly about the culture at General Mills and the company’s commitment to always doing the right thing. She describes her early inspirations and how these impacted her approach to her career. Finally, Colleen expounds on the importance of community when it comes to building a high-intensity career and raising a family.

Essential Learning Points:

  • [00:52] – Introducing today’s guest, Colleen Soukup
  • [02:43] – What Colleen enjoys most about her work
  • [09:21] – Colleen shares some key learnings from her career journey
  • [14:07] – How Colleen’s current role as CPO changed her as a leader
  • [19:25] – Colleen speaks to directional clarity and her evolution as a CPO
  • [24:23] – Other guiding principles that shaped Collen’s approach to developing her organization
  • [29:41] – The culture at General Mills
  • [32:13] – Colleen speaks to early inspirations from her childhood and her approach to starting her career
  • [36:27] – A seminal moment from Colleen’s journey
  • [40:09] – A deep-seated belief in the General Mills organization
  • [45:40] – The Irish dog trainer story
  • [47:05] – Advice Colleen would give her younger self and two learnings she values above all others
  • [49:05] – Parting words of wisdom and insights from Colleen
  • [50:43] – Now it’s your turn, identify ways to become a self-learner and grow, embody and lead change, and invest in your personal community

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