Advice for new leaders from Lisa Courtice: Listen and learn

Katy Smith
Lisa Courtice, CEO, United Way of Central Ohio

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.

Lisa Courtice

CEO, United Way of Central Ohio

Initiating change: Typically new leaders are hired to help take the business to its next level of excellence. This inherently means leading change. The first six months in a new job is when a leader has the best opportunity to listen and learn, gaining the clearest perspective on what is possible and the barriers that exist. If you are unable to act on these factors early in your tenure, write them down so you can reflect later on your early clear impressions. And, trust your instincts.

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Balancing your personal life with work: Leaders in all sectors have high demands on their time and on their performance outcomes. Establishing boundaries and being disciplined about them is very important. For example, when we had children at home, I limited the number of nights out to two a week. I was diligent in upholding this personal boundary and when I reflect back on raising a family it is one of my greatest accomplishments. Childrearing goes fast and attending events or dinners pales in comparison to being a present parent.

Advice from other new leaders:

Kirt Walker, CEO, Nationwide

Jonathan Moody, CEO, Moody Nolan

Lori Gillett, CEO, Corna Kokosing

Dr. Steve Markovich, president and CEO, OhioHealth

David Holladay, president, CoverMyMeds