5 Things I've Learned

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jacqueline Williams-Roll

Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources Jacqueline Williams-Roll, ’95 MA-IR, is responsible for the human resources functions at General Mills. She joined the company in 1995 and has held human resources leadership roles in supply chain, finance, marketing, and organization effectiveness. She is a member of the Human Resources Policy Association, the Center on Executive Compensation, the American Health Policy Institute’s Board of Governors, and the Twin Cities Human Resources Executive Council.

Here she shares five pieces of wisdom she has discovered over the years.

1. Talent is the single most important key to success

Attracting, recruiting, and retaining top talent is critical to success as a company and as a leader. It begins with creating an environment where employees are engaged and energized to do their career-best work, and ends with a nimbleness to adjust to the ever-evolving status quo of workplace culture.

2. Trust is absolutely paramount with your employees, with your customers, and with your consumers

Trust comes from taking the time to build personal relationships with those around you. Be visible and truly listen so that you can understand the needs and expectations of your key stakeholders. To further strengthen that trust, honor your commitments, be honest, be transparent with feedback, and be accountable.

3. Simplify and communicate

Simplicity is the essence of good communication and good leadership. Great leaders have the innate ability to take complex problems and break them down to simple components quickly and in a way that everyone can understand.

4. Be curious and open to new possibilities

Seek out new experiences—both personally and professionally—by connecting with individuals outside of your industry. Be a lifelong learner and take responsibility for your own development.

5. Be clear on your priorities and manage your time and resources accordingly

Identify what is important to you and the company in your role, and then put a regular process in place to be sure that you’re managing your time and resources effectively. Finally, take time for personal reflection to reassess your priorities to make any personal and professional adjustments.