WW CEO Mindy Grossman and The Vitamin Shoppe CEO Sharon Leite Say This Is Today’s No. 1 Leadership Trait

After a challenging 18 months, leaders needs to express vulnerability, according to WW International Inc. CEO Mindy Grossman and The Vitamin Shoppe CEO Sharon M. Leite.

“It is the No. 1 leadership trait,” Grossman said during this week’s Beauty Inc. + FN Wellness Forum. “To be able to articulate to your organization and beyond who you are as a human being and how you share that to make people feel that they, too, are going through things and you’re there with them — that becomes motivating.”

Leite added, “When you can be there for your team and for people, there is this level of discretionary effort that you get from someone and it is extraordinary. Leading with empathy and having that North Star to really know where you’re headed, it makes the rest of the decisions very simple and very easy in terms of what you want to do and what you want to accomplish.”

The two, whose companies announced a strategic partnership to support healthy living in January, sat down with Michael Atmore, FN Editorial Director and Chief Brand Officer, Fairchild Media Group to discuss the important of health and wellness on Tuesday.

When COVID-19 hit last March, this topic became front and center for both businesses. And as the category became so critical during this time, partnering and co-branding product from both brands were so important in order to add a high-level of authority and trust for consumers, they said about the partnership. “We both share this vision of wanting to have a human return on equity,” Grossman added.

To meet consumers where they were amidst the pandemic was the biggest challenge, however.

“They weren’t in the store, so if we wanted to be there for them, we had to pivot very quickly,” explained Leite.

Grossman did the same. WW International had just wrapped its Oprah 2020 Vision Tour days ahead of lock down. In a matter of months, the company looked towards digital and launched a global virtual tour where tens of thousands of people were able to come together and have conversations around what was important. “People really came together because that’s what they needed,” the former CEO of HSN said.

While it looks like the world may be heading into the post-pandemic era, Grossman believes there is still a level of uncertainty. Looking ahead, she said the challenge now is to remain nimble: “It’s being able to manage your business in real time to what happening in consumer behavior. That’s really critical for the organization.”

Beauty Inc. + FN Wellness Forum was sponsored by Oofos, Ryka and Zappos.com.

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