Once again, Source One's spend management team is headed to ISM's Annual Conference as the hosts and sponsors of the ExecIn Forum.

Jan Griffiths, the Founder and President of Gravitas Detroit will join them for the two-day event as moderator.

Recently, she sat down with the Source One Podcast for a two-part discussion covering everything from her professional role models to her hopes for the future of Procurement and Supply Management. Subscribe on iTunes today to hear the first half of the conversation.

The Journey to Gravitas Detroit

Before embarking on a second career as an executive coach, Jan Griffiths spent more than three decades in the world of automotive Procurement.

It was love at first sight.

"As soon as I stepped out on the shop floor, I felt a new kind of energy," she remarks. Even the smell of oil and coolants was appealing. The experience sparked a career that would culminate in honors including a spot on Automotive News' list of the Top 100 Women in North American Automotive Manufacturing.

So why leave? While Griffiths never fell out of love with Procurement and Manufacturing, reaching the C-suite brought about a realization. She wanted something more.

"It was a great career," she says, "but as I looked into the future, I started to think about what really mattered to me and what I really wanted to do with my professional life." She realized that her real passion was helping business leaders perform their jobs more effectively. "I love to help people become better leaders . . . it's simply all that I want to do."

The passion led her to establish Gravitas Detroit and become a professional advocate for a new, more effective style of leadership.

A New Kind of Executive

Griffiths' approach is all about challenging the traditions of leadership. Overbearing leaders who rely on intimidation and fear, she suggests, are doing little more than stifling their organization's powers to innovate. She calls for a managerial style that places an emphasis on empowerment rather than management.

"The words 'control' and 'manage' are like nails on a chalkboard to me," says Griffiths. She suggests that leaders who insist on control are eroding trust within their organizations. Since team members tend to emulate their leaders, the result is often a toxic workplace culture with stagnant results.

To move forward, leaders need to first overcome the fear of failure. "All the great leaders have failed," she reminds listeners. She'll offer strategies for moving past fear and nurturing innovation during Part 2 of the discussion next week.

Headed to ISM this April? Don't forget to stop by Booth #438 to meet Source One's industry-leading team. Executive-level attendees are also encouraged to contact Carole Boyle (cboyle@corcentric.com) to learn more about ExecIn.
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