Lisa Nichols’ CEO Spotlight: Reflecting on My Talk at Coca-Cola

Daily, I try to formally recognize the talent, technology, and transformation that is changing our world. 

As Chief Executive Officer of Technology Partners in St. Louis, I have a front-row seat to the amazing innovations impacting our clients, employees, and their families. We are truly a people-first business and take pride in nurturing an environment that harnesses technology for the greater good.

We have been fortunate to build a base of organizational clients and partners that believe the same way.

Case in point, Coca-Cola Consolidated. 

In December, I had the honor of delivering two leadership presentations at their Charlotte, N.C., corporate headquarters. I wish I could accurately describe the magnetic energy and camaraderie… It is truly a special place!

During my visit, I learned the organization is the nation’s largest Coca-Cola bottler, providing more than 300 brands and flavors to 60 million consumers across 14 states and Washington, D.C. 

I also learned that they have worked hard to create an incredible culture that puts Jesus at the center of everything. How cool is that? This is a 16,000-employee, publicly traded company – and they have God in their mission statement. 

My first presentation was to an impressive group of high-performance sales leaders. Anyone who knows me understands this is my kind of crowd. 

As expected, this group was super engaged and asked a ton of great questions. My time with them brought me back to my early days in sales, and I was able to share stories about my personal growth, as well as the growth of Technology Partners over the past three decades. 

One of my favorite parts of the talk was giving away three of my favorite books of all time: “Love Works,” “Love Does,” and “Love is the Killer App.” 

The audience was asked to nominate someone who they felt had showed “more-love” (my 2021 word of the year) to their teammates and customers. This was a great engagement opportunity that led to productive discussions. 

I later gave a second talk to the Women’s Leadership Forum (Coca-Cola calls them Teammate Resource Groups) highlighting the “Something Extra” that we all have to offer. Named after our weekly podcast that is now well over 200 episodes, this concept always creates a stirring conversation. 

Some of the Q&A we covered during this session included:

· How do you balance multiple tasks and keep all the balls in the air? 

· What is imposter syndrome and how can we defeat it? 

· What do women bring to the table in terms of leadership in the workplace? 

· How do you really foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

I shared with the group that at the end of each podcast episode show, I ask the guest what they believe is the something extra that every leader needs to lead well. I have also pulled many ‘isms’ from our guests that continue to stick with me as the show grows. 

Here are a few: 

· “You can’t live at warp speed without warping your own soul,” Lance Witt. 

· “The gift of a leader is their presence,” Nicole Unice. 

· “The words we choose to use can be a wonderful catalyst for good,” Jo Saxton.

· “There is extraordinary power in treating your employees like family,” Bob Chapman.  

· “Come to me early with a challenge, you have a coach. Come to me late, you have a judge,” Don Imholz. 

Thank you again to the leadership at Coca-Cola Consolidated for thinking of me to keynote their leadership conference. It was a truly rewarding time spent with people who put God first, their people second, and themselves last.  

In conclusion, I want to encourage you to keep being YOU because you are making a difference in the lives of so many!

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