SE Episode 109: Empathetic Leadership w/ Shannon Hauf

Shannon Hauf, SVP and Head of Seed Production Innovation at Bayer, on the Something Extra Podcast

SVP and Head of Seed Production Innovation at Bayer, Shannon Hauf, speaks to a major aspect of leadership which is motivating people to move and be part of an outcome because they want to be, not because they have to. 

Bio: Shannon Hauf is currently Senior Vice President and Head of Seed Production Innovation at Bayer Crop Science.  Shannon and her team located in 22 countries around the World have responsibility to develop and deliver strategic and technical solutions in the production of seeds to deliver farmers the highest quality seeds and drive sustainable growth and profit of Bayer’s seeds business.  Previously she was Senior Vice President and Head of Crop Technology Soybean leading the combined soybean portfolio following the integration of Monsanto.

Shannon joined Monsanto in 2003 and held various roles of increasing responsibility within the Commercial and Research and Development Organizations.  While in the U.S. commercial field sales and technical organization, Shannon was involved in the launch of a number of corn and soybean products, including YieldGard corn rootworm in Iowa resulting in rapid transition to triple-stacked products and earning #1 brand share of market.  In 2008, Shannon moved to St. Louis as U.S. Chemistry Systems Team Lead followed by a move into the U.S. Cotton Product Management Team. She focused on leading efforts in managing the challenges of glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed with the launch of Roundup Ready Plus program now transitioned to Bayer Plus.  In 2012, Shannon moved into the Global Dicamba Product Management Lead responsible for coordinating cross-organization efforts to deliver Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System globally.  Shannon moved to R&D in 2014 as Vice President and Global Technology Lead for Cotton, Wheat, and Specialty Crops.  In that role she was involved with two key company strategic alliances, one with Forage Genetics, a Land O’Lakes company on alfalfa biotech traits, and the second with Teays River Investments on a joint venture for sorghum. 

Shannon is the recipient of the Technical Excellence, Distinguished Development, and Pledge Awards, all while in the commercial organization at Monsanto; along with CropLife International Food Hero Award and recognized by St. Louis Metro YWCA as a Women Leader in the Workplace.  Shannon was recently recognized as St. Louis Business Journal Most Influential Business Women for her contributions in business and the St. Louis community.

Shannon recently completed two terms on the Board of Directors for Innovative Seed Solutions, LLC, and currently sits on the Iowa State University Research Foundation and BAYERPAC Boards.  She recently joined the Board for Marian Middle School whose mission is to educate and partner with urban girls in lower-income families breaking the cycle of poverty.  At Bayer she is an executive sponsor for Women in Research and Development and Women in Product Supply and provides leadership with the United Way campaign.  Shannon is active in support of Adopt-A-Family and serves as a 4-H Leader.

Shannon grew up on a corn, soybean, and livestock farm in Southern Minnesota, remaining connected to the family farm operation.  Shannon has a B.S. from Iowa State University, and M.S and Ph.D. degrees from North Dakota State University.  Shannon and her husband Darrin, and children Carter and Ella live on a farm near St. Louis, Missouri. 

Shannon’s Something Extra: Empathy and compassion. “Everyone has a situation, regardless if they have children or are single, that we don’t understand. There will be some silver linings that emerge from the current situation we are faced with and I hope one of them is leaders who are a bit more empathetic and compassionate for every single person’s situation.”

Links and Mentions:
Marian Middle School 

– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer
– Daniel Williams, Recording Engineer