Advice for new leaders from Lori Gillett: Identify your core values

Katy Smith
Lori Gillett, CEO, Corna Kokosing

New people are stepping into leadership roles everywhere you look in the Columbus region. The first year in the role can be a whirlwind—learning about the company or organization, either for the first time or learning about it from a different vantage point; getting to know lots of new names and faces if you came from outside; and perhaps finding some things you would like to do differently.

Columbus CEO's April 2020 cover package, "The Great Leadershift," featured advice from six leaders in their first few years. Here is what they shared.

Lori Gillett

CEO, Corna Kokosing

Balancing your personal life with work: I believe to have balance in personal and work life, it is critical for individuals to have identified their core values, both personally and professionally. Consider filtering everything through a “personal blueprint” so you can identify what gets top priority and what must be scheduled for a later date. If something relates to one of my core values, I block it off on my calendar. If it conflicts, for instance a work meeting overlaps with my daughter’s soccer game, then I’ll reschedule the conflict. I am able to say “no” because my personal blueprint says my family is a high core value. We should always be able to ask ourselves if the opportunity lines up with our predetermined goals and values. 

Stay up to date with the region’s business scene. Subscribe to Columbus CEO’s weekly newsletter.

Protecting your health: It is so important to take care of your own personal health in order to serve others well. When I need to manage particularly stressful occasions, I sometimes do extra breathing and mindfulness exercises. When I leave the office at the end of my work day, I make a point to set aside any open-ended questions in my mind so by the time I’m home, I can be fully present when I see my family. When I have this mindset, I notice I’m able to fully enjoy my family and that’s important to me. Once the kids are in bed, I get those unanswered work-related thoughts back out and deal with them so that I’ll have a restful night of sleep!

Advice from other new leaders:

Kirt Walker, CEO, Nationwide

Jonathan Moody, CEO, Moody Nolan

Dr. Steve Markovich, president and CEO, OhioHealth

David Holladay, president, CoverMyMeds

Lisa Courtice, CEO, United Way of Central Ohio