LeaderSight: Leading Others By Managing Self

Erik Thompson

Welcome to LeaderSight- where we believe leadership is a people game.  One that can be played by anyone, anywhere…because leadership is action by any party that helps your group meet its adaptive challenges.

We bring you successful leaders who have something special, leadership wisdom- and put them in a position to share that with you, unfiltered. To offer you their insight, foresight, and maybe even some 20/20 leadership hindsight to help you on your leadership journey.

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Leadership Presence: Interview with Mari McClure
Leadership Presence: Interview with Mari McClure
Episode Two: Leadership PresenceInterview with Mari McClure“As a CEO, I have found the relationship between responsiveness and presence hard to reconcile. It has almost felt like, when I am very present, I am not very responsive. And when I’m really responsive, I am not very present.  Being self aware about it …  I have prioritized presence.””The most strategic thing I do is stay engaged with our customers.”“Whether talking to a board member, a customer or a line worker who works for us, I know I am present when I hear both what they say and how they feel.”Erik interviews Mari McClure, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power (GMP), a clean energy company featured this week in the NYT (Vermont Utility Plans to End Outages by Giving Customers Batteries) because of its pioneering programs to reduce costs and carbon, while increasing reliability. GMP made Time’s list of “100 Most Influential Companies” and Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in North America.” Mari stepped into her current role at the start of 2020 after years with GMP leading transformational work across the company, building strong teams, and motivating employees to serve customers. Prior to her time at GMP earned her law degree from the University of Buffalo School of Law in 2006, where she was captain of the women’s basketball team from 1997-2001.  Tune in to learn how Mari’s underdog team beat powerhouse UNC.Recognized as a transformational leader, Mari discusses pushing limits and questioning the status quo. “I’ve never thought to myself that I reached my full potential. It was always motivating for me to think there was more in life for me to find, to get better at. There was always more out there in the world - I have always felt that way at GMP, too … a drive to continually find new things and get better.”
A Leader's Humanity: The Effectiveness Super Charger Interview with Mary Powell
A Leader's Humanity: The Effectiveness Super Charger Interview with Mary Powell
Erik Thompson interviews Mary Powell, the CEO of Sunrun, the largest residential solar, storage, and energy services company in the U.S. She is the former CEO of Green Mountain Power (GMP), the 2018 Vermont Business of the Year. Is there a place for love at the edgy negotiating table?  According to the Harvard School of Business, positive negotiation relationships are important not because they engender warm, fuzzy feelings, but because they engender trust – a vital means of securing desired actions from others. Mary’s innovative approach to negotiation is a fascinating lesson in leading with kindness and humility.Highlights of Erik's conversation with Mary:Why the road less traveled is often the right one for execs. Mary's upbringing in NYC, enrollment at the High School of Performing Arts (made famous by the movie FAME),  and her lifelong advocacy for animals led to her leadership role as CEO of a major utility. Non-traditional CEO candidates can win. GMP board chair and Bruegger's Bagels founder Nord Brue discusses making the decision to hire Mary, someone who took an unconventional path to the role of CEO.Why focusing leadership on “culture over strategy” is a winning approach. Mary's culture of innovation put GMP on the map when she entered into an early partnership with Tesla. Mary credits her success to GMP's North Star: "An obsession with customers,  obsession with service, and obsession with providing green, clean, affordable service to Vermonters."How thinking differently and understanding the value of pioneering an “energy sharing economy” led to better outcomes for her company and customers.