Doug Conant on Making Connections from Top to Bottom

Doug Conant has a certain methodology for collaborating and communicating with his employees. As the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, Doug set the tone for how he wanted to build his relationships there. For Conant, it is imperative to build his relationships before he needs to, so as to be more productive in the long run. And not just with his direct reports; he made time in his day to send notes to employees around the world that he would never see day to day. Build that trust early, and then anything is possible. All it takes is two simple strategies to be an effective leader: being tough-minded on standards and performances while still remaining tenderhearted with people.


Douglas R. Conant is a New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker with over 35 years of leadership experience at world-class global companies. In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership, a growing community of people dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in the 21st century. From 2001 to 2011, Conant served as CEO and President of the Campbell Soup Company. He was the 11th leader of this iconic company’s 141-year history – faced with reversing a precipitous decline in market value. Conant dramatically transformed the global leadership team, reconfigured the portfolio, cut costs, and made integral strategic investments. These visionary changes resulted in cumulative shareholder returns in the top tier of the global food industry. He is the co-author with Mette Norgaard of the New York Times bestseller Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments.

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