April 4, 2023

In our Associate Spotlight series, we are highlighting associates across the company who are shaping our community and who embody our Centric Brands philosophy every day.

Meet Beth Baggett, Vice President, Caterpillar, Airwalk, U.S. Men’s – Buffalo at Centric Brands. In her Interview, Beth shares insights on how leaders can help teams achieve their goals and the skills leaders need to motivate their teams.   

There are many different ways to lead a team toward completing a goal. How does your leadership style help them achieve these objectives? 

I believe people genuinely want to succeed and need leaders to simply provide the building blocks with which to do so. To succeed, we all must understand what we are trying to accomplish and how our team will accomplish it. I try to lead with this basic 5-step process:

  1. Set clear objectives
  2. Build the strategy (together!) 
  3. Motivate/guide/alter as needed
  4. Remove obstacles
  5. Celebrate the win (very important!!!) 

As I see it: Take accountability, learn and move forward and then show appreciation for a well-done job. 

Our team is successful mainly because everyone knows their roles and goals and works together to accomplish them. Our competitiveness is as a team, not with each other. We win together, and we fail together.  

Can you share two or three skills that you believe strong leaders exhibit? 

First, strong leaders need to have a strategic vision, understand the company’s objectives and align their teams’ priorities to meet them. Our team has no success if we aren’t seeing the big picture of how we fit into the total and then strategically crafting our steps to reach those goals. There’s no goal if it’s in the wrong net. 

Strong leaders need to be flexible and adaptable. I have never seen a rigid thinker be successful long-term. A leader’s ability to react to a changing landscape now more than ever is critical. If plans A and B don’t work and the goal hasn’t changed, you must keep adapting to figure out a new plan…and that plan may not be your idea. Be open to someone else’s ideas.   

Lastly, strong leaders need to have the ability to persevere. Brent Unger, Executive Vice President, Buffalo, and I talk about this a lot – what we believe sets successful teams apart are people who don’t give up. Yes, you have to adapt and change your tactics, but there is something to be said for pure grit. A little grit mixed with a little grace goes a long way.

Teams will face unique challenges as they work together. How do you motivate a team? 

Ultimately, the most overlooked aspect of a team’s success is that we are a team! We win together and we lose together, so fostering a team comradery where everyone understands their role and trusts and respects their teammates is critical. People naturally want to win, and it’s a lot of fun to win with people you like and respect! It’s motivating to have people believe in you – you don’t want to disappoint those people. Once you’ve established that team synergy; honestly, you have to own the challenging moments and then pick back up and keep going because you are all in it together.