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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Meridith Elliott Powell

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Meridith Elliott Powell

Name: Meridith Elliott Powell

Current title: President

Current organisation: MotionFirst

Voted one of the top 15 Business Growth To Watch, Top 41 Motivational Sales Speakers and Top 50 Sales Experts, Meridith Elliott Powell is a business strategist who is passionate about helping her clients learn the strategies they need to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

7 Questions with Meridith Elliott Powell


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Balance - staying strategic when the challenges of day-in, day-out tend to take over

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I started out at entry level and worked my way to the C-Suite. I got there the ole fashioned way. I excelled in every role, raised my hand and volunteered for every position, and when it came time for leadership I was the best qualified. I believe the two secrets to getting into the C-Suite are to learn everything you can early in your career and volunteer for everything

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I get up at 4 and the first two hours are for me. I meditate, read goals/vision, write and then exercise in that order. I then start client engagement activities -revenue producing for the next two hours. By then the workday is beginning for everyone else and I allow meetings, emails etc to take over until 2. Between 2 and three I leave to exercise again - something fun like tennis, riding a bike or a class. Then I am back at my desk until 6:30 - leave to spend time with my family - back on email from 9 to 10. Read my vision/goals again - sleep and back-up to do it again

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Uncertainty is the greatest competitive advantage.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

I Love Capitalism by Ken Langone and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Ken's for just how key hard work, education and courage are to leadership. Dale;s for the power of your network.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Embrace early on that your job is talent development first and foremost. Leaders need to focus on three things - cash flow, customer experience and employee engagement. But if you as the leader prioritize employee engagement you will automatically drive cash flow and drive the customer experience. It does not work the other way around.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

How much the smallest gestures matter and the impact they could make. We recently promoted a young woman that has been with us for more than 20 years. She started off in an entry level position and has worked hard and excelled in every role. On the day of her promotion and her entry into the C-Suite, she pulled out a thank you note I had written her 19-years ago. It was a note that could not have taken me 5 minutes to write just expressing how much I valued her and her commitment to our customers, her team and the job. I had no idea she would save it, let alone credit it with making such an impact.

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