SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Kroger's Chairman and CEO David Dillon was given the stage for the final presentation at FMI Midwinter Tuesday, and he used the opportunity to offer leadership advice to attendees.
His remarks capped a Midwinter event that touched on a wide range of current issues, from health and wellness to collaboration, and his comments also looked forward to FMI's upcoming Future Connect event, a forum for emerging leadership, for which Dillon will be the chairman.
Dillon's advice centered on "the power and value of feedback and knowing yourself," which he said is a hard-to-perfect but important attribute.
"A mirror gives you physical feedback, but what if you want to know how you are as a leader or follower, or father or son or peer?" he asked. "How do you find out?
"I'm on a quest for mirrors, and the mirror for that is each other.
"We must tell each other what we really need to hear," he said. "It's harder the higher you get in an organization."
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The danger is that if you don't encourage that feedback over time, "In a crisis, when you really need to know, people won't tell you," he explained. "So you must nurture it over years. Set an environment where people know you want feedback, and respond with a thank you, and not in a defensive way. Both positive and negative feedback are helpful."
Dillon said Future Connect is "a perfect place to learn what I've described, and Kroger is bringing 200 people because we believe in the program." The event will be held April 30 to May 2 in Orlando.
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