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Called to Coach
Leading From Every Chair: The Beauty of Strengths at Estee Lauder®
Called to Coach

Leading From Every Chair: The Beauty of Strengths at Estee Lauder®

Webcast Details

  • What does it mean to "lead from every chair" at Estee Lauder?
  • How can a focus on employee strengths fuel employee wellbeing?
  • How can organizations weave strengths and diversity and inclusion together to promote employee engagement?

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 11, Episode 9.

Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.


"We want you to be improving as a person. ... Wherever you sit within this organization, we want you to take ownership." This philosophy of "Leading from every chair" is woven into everything Estee Lauder® does, according to Theresa Ralston, Executive Director of Enterprise Learning and Development. And Gallup's strengths, engagement and wellbeing sciences are informing the company's mission to include every employee and to improve their lives and performance. Learn how Estee Lauder is championing its employees and helping them lead in this inspiring webcast.


With this very large organization, a lot of employees, how do we scale? One of the nice things about the tool is it helps us do that. ... The CliftonStrengths tool is very scalable.

Theresa Ralston, 17:31

We're looking for diversity in thought. That helps us be creative; that helps us innovate. And one of the ways you do that is you really tap into people's strengths.

Theresa Ralston, 9:44

I've been reading a lot of your research about having a Best friend at work. ... When I read that, it really makes a lot of sense. So it's not just that you connect, but you connect on this really common purpose.

Theresa Ralston, 31:59

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on January 25, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:18
Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live and you don't see our live chat, there's a link to it for it right above me there. Click on that; it'll take you to YouTube. We'd love to have your questions live in chat. If you're listening to the podcast or on YouTube after the fact, we'd still love to take your questions. Send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe to Called to Coach on your favorite podcast app or right there on YouTube, down there in the corner, so you never miss an episode. Laragh Marchand is our host today. Laragh is a partner, is on our Partner Team at Gallup and has 18 years of experience in luxury goods and manufacturing. She specializes in the growth strategies in human capital management and ESG and helps organizations build strengths-based cultures. Her Top 5 is Context, Focus, Positivity, Belief, Ideation. Laragh, thanks for coming out. And thanks for being on Called to Coach, and welcome!

Meet Our Guest on This Episode

Laragh Marchand 1:19
Hello, Jim! And welcome, Theresa! We're delighted to have you on with us. I'd like to say a few words about you, introduce you, if that's OK. Theresa Ralston is the Executive Director of Enterprise Learning and Development at Estee Lauder companies. She's been a dear client now for a few years. And you have, Theresa, I believe, 20 years of experience in human resources, talent management and leadership, executive development programs. And you're also a Gallup-Certified Coach. So you joined the global management strategies at Estee Lauder companies. And that started implementing corporatewide strengths programs. You're going to tell us a little bit more about that. But what I love about your background is before joining that team, you were a Sales and Education Executive for one of the brands, Clinique. So you really have worked also in the field, and you bring all that operational side to your role. Theresa, you you've, you've been a strong architect, taking also Estee Lauder to today being recognized as a winner of the Donald Clifton Strengths-Based Culture Award. We are, again, very happy to have you, so Welcome!

Theresa Ralston 2:40
Thanks, Laragh, so much. I'm thrilled to be here. You've been a great partner as well. And we were so honored to receive that recognition from The Gallup Organization.

Laragh Marchand 2:50
Theresa, could you tell us your Top 5 maybe, or the strengths you prefer as well? I think you might like to go a little wider than that. And maybe as well tell us -- we love to ask at Gallup -- what you get paid to do.

Theresa Ralston 3:03
Yeah, absolutely. So my Top 5 are Achiever, Communication, Maximizer, Individualization and Arranger. And you are right; you both have heard me say I like to include my No. 6 especially, which is Significance, because I think it really relates to a lot of the work that I do. That it has broad impact on a lot of people. So No. 6, I think I really tap into. And with that I would say, oh, go ahead, Laragh.

Laragh Marchand 3:32
Yeah, I was gonna say these really come at play in all our, in all interactions and the work you do at Estee Lauder companies. Could you tell us a little bit more as well, how you've sort of deployed them in both work and maybe your life?

Theresa Ralston 3:46
Yeah, I mean, the, the beautiful thing about my tenure and my career at the Estee Lauder Companies, especially now as I kind of look back, people have seen the potential in me. And really, I've been able to tap into these talents and strengths and been able to work on really exciting initiatives, short-term when things are new, and then long-term as we're really trying to implement things into the culture, like the strengths-based philosophy that we talked about. And that was, I would say, a real turning point for me. When I was introduced to the philosophy, it was like someone just flipped on a switch for me -- this idea of, and I still see the visual, the idea of "What if we focused on what people do right, rather than fixating on what people do wrong?" very much fits with our culture about the individual. While it's a real human positive statement, there's also something really empowering and some accountability in that too. That, like, I have a responsibility to do what I do well, and to do what I do right at the same time, and to not fixate on maybe what I don't think I do perfectly along the way. So it was really a great fit for the organization. And I would say that's what I get paid to do. I know that's kind of a question that you ask.

Theresa Ralston 5:01
So How do I have a significant impact on others? How do I have a significant impact on the results that they achieve? And really, for our leaders, they are so, you know, they work hard. So how do we help them? How do we give them data? How do we give them information? How do we give them common language? How do we help them? Because they want to do the right thing. They want to focus on their employees' engagement, and they want to focus on what's right. But how do we help them do that with resources and with development opportunities that they get throughout their careers at the Estee Lauder Companies.

The Estee Lauder® Brand

Laragh Marchand 5:38
So for those who might not know that much about sort of the size of Estee Lauder companies, I believe you have a portfolio of about 25 brands that you're growing, and you cover you -- correct me if I'm wrong -- 150 countries. Could you tell us through the size of the workforce, how many employees you have. How are you organized? And then also maybe sort of where you're at, how did this all begin?

Theresa Ralston 6:05
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, Laragh, did your homework; those numbers are exactly right. We are 25, we always say 25+ brands, because that is something that we are always looking at acquiring and developing and innovating. But yes, we're at 25 brands, and it is 150 countries. And I think that that scope of How do we address and how do we satisfy our consumer with those 25 brands and within those 150 countries in which we distribute? That's also really kind of infused into our culture -- the diversity of our consumer, we also really expect to be the diversity of our employees. So with a lot of innovation, a lot of creativity, how do we continue to push boundaries? We're really the, the largest global leader in prestige beauty. We're really the only company that we focus solely on prestige makeup, skin care, fragrance and hair care. And so that's, you know, the diversity expectation for us, I think really starts even in our portfolio.

Laragh Marchand 7:12
Great. And I have to say, I'm wearing Estee Lauder lipstick today. I had to step up to. But it's, it's something, I'm thinking about something you mentioned around the diversities, well, of your consumer. But How do you use, how have you used strengths to join diversity and equity and inclusion at Estee Lauder Companies?

Theresa Ralston 7:37
Yes. And one of the questions you asked, too, is about our workforce. So we do have 60,000 employees worldwide. Now that includes our office colleagues, which is really the, you know, from an enterprise, we have office employees; we have store counter-level, you know, you mentioned "the field" is what we call it. And then we have artists, consultants that work for us. But we have a huge manufacturing-facility employee base as well. So as an enterprise, that's our 60,000+ employee population. But the area that I focus on, I would say, most with a lot of the programs that we have are those office-based employees, and then how do we use those best practices throughout all of the other employee populations that we have?

Theresa Ralston 8:24
So I think, you know, I share that here, because I think even that wins, too. And you might imagine with those different employee populations, there has to be diversity in how we approach you know, every situation, how we approach, you know, which consumers, what they bring to the organization as well. So, inclusion, diversity, equity has always been at the center of what we do. We have a center of excellence that that is their focus, they focus around how do we develop that culture? How do we work together? And that goes from our brand portfolio to the employees that we hire. How do we acquire talent? That is across the board that those are our expectations. So also through leadership programs, and we have a lot of resource groups. So we've really seen some strength in our employee resource groups that focus on diversity. And you don't have to necessarily identify as an, a person that might be a part of that employee group, but you can still learn from them. So that's the nice thing is that we do have a lot of offerings to learn about different diversity.

Theresa Ralston 9:34
And then we really like to weave that strengths-based education into diversity. It's one of the things that our CEO talks about often is that we're looking for diversity in thought. That helps us be creative; that helps us innovate. And one of the ways you do that is you really tap into people's strengths. It is at the core of all of our self-made, self-produced in-house leadership competencies is that you focus on what you do well, and that we look for different types of talents and strengths amongst individuals. And that's a very intentional call for us. It's not an accidental, we end up with diversity; it is an expectation that we're looking for those different points of view.

"Leading From Every Chair"

Laragh Marchand 10:22
I was thinking about an expression I've heard you use, which is "Leading from every seat." Could you tell us how that, you know, kind of comes to express itself? Maybe some of the also training -- great, would great, would be great to hear some of the specific examples as well around some of the capability building you do for managers.

Theresa Ralston 10:44
Yeah, absolutely. So it, and I love that, Laragh, you've been, you've been, I love it when you repeat stuff back to me that we've talked about. So it's, "Leading from every chair" is really this idea of, and we've always, you know, we champion the individual. When you, when you work at the Estee Lauder Companies, we want you to always feel as if you're getting better -- as an individual, that that's just built into who we are. We improve processes, we improve products, we want you to be improving as a person. And because of that, this "Leading from every chair" also is kind of a call to action. That wherever you sit within this organization, you have, we want you to take ownership. We want you to have that confidence and to feel safe to speak up. And maybe you're not the leader in the room, but everyone here is expected to take that leadership role. So the "Lead from every chair" is -- and I love it that you say it; I get really excited when our employees kind of repeat it back.

Laragh Marchand 11:49
It's my Context.

Theresa Ralston 11:53
Yes, that was your -- we didn't talk about your Top 5. But I know that that's your Context, too, because we talk about that one, Laragh.

Laragh Marchand 12:00
Yeah, either the, the always sort of end up creeping in conversations. And definitely sort of the context of Estee Lauder is, is very important, in terms of thinking about also how that strengths philosophy, tying it to something you already had in place that fit with your DNA. And we tend to find that, you know, that also obviously accelerates it, and fits very well. Can you tell us about your, I believe you have, you have a lot of Strengths Certified Coaches. Could you tell us about how you tap into that community? You do a lot around the networking, around keeping that alive. I think you do a lot around sharing as well. I think it's a, it's a real testament as well to the investment you've put into growing those people and not sort of thinking of them maybe just in site alone or ad hoc activities where they would sort of step in, do some coaching and then move on. But there's a real investment in their growth, as well as thinking around how you really certify, through a process that can be robust.

Theresa Ralston 13:18
Yeah, absolutely. And Laragh, as you can imagine, you know, with a company this size, you certainly have to have numbers in those that are influencing and interacting and coaching and developing. So, you know, initially, I would say there was a, you know, kind of a small grassroots group of us. You mentioned that that's when I joined Corporate Human Resources is as this philosophy was introduced. So there's that, I would say, that core group. And then it's just it, you guys know; you're coaches. You introduce people to this philosophy. And you can just, I said, with me, it was like somebody flipped on a switch. You see that happen with other people, where they become very energized, and they become very excited. So that's how I would say it started is with enthusiasts.

Theresa Ralston 14:08
It has evolved into a much more strategic approach for us, that that's how we will really get a lot of traction. So we have over the last, you know, several years in a variety of areas, so programs that we lead, you know, people who are involved in internal executive coaching will be Gallup-Certified Coaches. We offer courses in sessions, debrief sessions in all of our programming. So we need many coach -- the other thing that happens is we're then able to have, you know, ambassadors, enthusiasts, experts within those different business units that I kind of mentioned. So they're able to really customize and make it fit with what that business is trying to achieve and what they're trying to drive.

Theresa Ralston 14:55
So those numbers -- and Laragh will be excited. You know, we had a session for our internal coaches and a lot of our allies, I think, about a year ago. You and I worked on that together; we're working on what will be next for them. You know, when you're the one trying to always give everybody energy, sometimes you need some energy. That's what I really like about this Called to Coach community is that we give each other energy, we share ideas. You know, Jim, Jim facilitates that, brings great topics. But then also for us internally, how do we share that with each other? You know, I get a lot of energy, and sometimes just the process of bringing everyone together, I'm like, Oh, wow, look at all these great things that are happening that we didn't even realize! You know, they give really good examples; they're able to share those examples.

Theresa Ralston 14:55
And then we're, we always are elevating. You know, it lends to what I said about, We always want you to feel like you're getting better. We're a learning organization. So if you're a coach here, we take that seriously. You will be Gallup-Certified. There will be ongoing training. We work collaboratively. So it's, many times you might be a coach in one area of the business, and you might facilitate with a coach in a completely another area of the business, because that's a way that we can execute and collaborate and learn from each other along the way. So I think we've doubled that number. I know we, our goal was to double it from what we originally talked about, Laragh. I don't know if we're quite there in one year; I think we wanted to do that in a couple years. But we continue to really add to that bench of strength for us.

Laragh Marchand 16:25
How do you see the future through, so how do you see those next couple of years? I mean, you've, you've done some heavy lifting in the past two; it's pretty admirable, impressive how quickly you've deployed. And you've very much been on the front line of that. Maybe at some point, you can tell us a little bit about your team as well. But tell us about maybe how you foresee the future, at least the -- who knows? We're also entering a troubled world of post-pandemic. But maybe if you get us, do you have a sense a little bit about what the 2 years might look like, in terms of development for people?

Theresa Ralston 17:02
Yeah, I mean, we continue to really, you know, I would say double down on our inclusive, strengths-based culture. We have a high performance expectation. And so for programs, we, you know, our goal is to get to every single employee. You can't always do that. But it's funny, Laragh, that you're asking, because that's, that's a big part of what I work on is How do we scale? So how do we, with this very large organization, a lot of employees, how do we scale? So, and one of the nice things about the tool is it helps us do that. Like the strengths, the CliftonStrengths tool is very scalable. So I would say it will, we will continue to look for additional ways to utilize it. And over the next couple of years, we will continue to introduce additional programs at every level in which strengths is a really early part of every program.

Strengths at Estee Lauder

Jim Collison 18:05
Let me, let me jump in with a question from chat, because I think it applies exactly to this. Justin is asking, Do people doing highly practical processes such as manufacturing also do their CliftonStrengths? And we see in some organizations, strengths makes it to some spots; it doesn't, maybe there's other areas where it's more difficult. Theresa, can you talk a little bit about how that's working for Estee Lauder?

Theresa Ralston 18:29
I would say it's not -- thanks, Justin. I would say it's not a requirement at, for that employee. Because I know some companies, they make it a requirement that you go through certain assessments as you onboard. And that's not, but we do offer open enrollments, if not monthly, every 6 weeks, so every employee is invited to participate. And in the manufacturing, I'll give you one example. We are currently working with senior-level leaders. They're in what's called our People Leadership Program. It had, that, we use the Manager Report in that program and really dive into, How do I tap into this? How do I apply it? That includes our global supply chain population across the globe. Now that might not be every frontline worker, but their leaders are being exposed.

Theresa Ralston 19:28
And then as I said, what happens is, They say, "Oh, I want to do this with my whole team." So then we'll say, "Oh, we have open enrollment. So please sign them up. Have them go to where they get a debrief session. It's open enrollment." We do have specific manufacturing facilities, though. I'll use our brand Aveda, for example, where they have their in-house and their human resource partners are Gallup-Certified Coaches. So it does become part of the culture. And that's a good example. So I'm glad Justin asked the question of where, because we have people within the business, not just, you know, the corporate people trying to initiate and really drive and implement; we have people within the business, they're able to get to that employee.

Jim Collison 20:12
Sometimes the, you know, we see organizations maybe dictate, like, everybody's going to do this, because they're afraid some will opt out. In an opt-in culture, how do you kind of ensure you're creating that momentum to keep it going so that it doesn't, you know, so people keep signing up for it?

Theresa Ralston 20:31
Well, in, in the programs, it's not an opt-in; it's built in. So yeah, thank you for that clarification. In the program, in the, the nice thing about all the tools that Gallup offers is we're able to give them kind of an array. So a more junior employee will be introduced to their Top 5. But then once they're a little more experienced, we then introduce them to their 34. We're using the Manager Report with executives. So those, those are not opt in, necessarily. What's, what I think is fun about the opt-in is then they just get excited about it, and they want it, you know, if they have 100 people in their org, they're like, How do I get this to my entire team? And then that's where we'll say, "We have open enrollment. We can have customized team sessions." So there's where more of the opt-in happens.

Jim Collison 21:23
Yeah. And then Laragh, I'm sure you're gonna ask this, but Nate maybe beat you to the punch. I think it's a good -- How are you measuring this success, then, for some of these programs? And what kind of things are you doing to ensure that you know, OK, we're, we're moving in a forward direction with this?

Theresa Ralston 21:41
Yeah, thank you that. I can see that from Nate there. So, you know, we, of course, you know, we're a learning organization. I'm in Enterprise Learning and Development. So we're always looking at learning effectiveness. So the nice thing about the programmatic approach is that we have that audience in which we can identify. And that is one of the questions that we will ask. They'll rate themselves as an inclusive leader. They'll rate themselves as a strengths-based leader. And then through, go through a 5-month program is this one example that I'm talking about. And then they would give them, they would rate themselves again.

Theresa Ralston 22:18
We have others rate them as well. So there are pulse surveys built in. But then also, from a program standpoint, we can do a bookends, to really find out some learning effectiveness of what that looks like. Now larger than that, within all of our performance development processes, we tie to -- and I haven't talked too much about our high-performance leadership competencies -- the beautiful thing that I think was really a game changer with our ability to scale CliftonStrengths is that it aligns so well with our internal competencies. So because that is built into all of our performance development, strengths also is built into every performance-development conversation, because we use our competencies as that link.

Connecting Strengths, Wellbeing, Inclusion

Laragh Marchand 23:07
Theresa, you've talked about the, and a lot of game changers there, a lot of context, and thank you very much for that. You've, you've talked about performance management and how that, obviously, also, strengths correlates to results there. You've, we've also talked about diversity, equity and inclusion and how strengths also fosters or accelerates your roadmap on that. We've, you've been working recently on wellbeing as well. You had a session with Gallup about a week ago; 200 people joined. And that was very much about how also putting strengths sort of in service or thinking about how different areas might be more important to certain people. So if you think about these 5 components of wellbeing, for those who are listening. Based on our research, you have physical, you have financial (and it's often more around stability as well than levels of wealth); we found that there's a lot to do with also financial security.

Laragh Marchand 24:12
We have there, as well, very much career; the sense of having purpose in your life. So regardless of sort of what your job is -- you could be volunteering, you could be retired, but it's very much finding that sense of purpose. And then you have the social aspects, where one interesting finding in our research was people with high levels of wellbeing have about 6 hours of social time a day. So you could probably, at some point, also tell us a little bit about how you, you develop that, some of the sort of social interactions that is there. And then there's the community, which is kind of the difference between a good life and a great life is you like where you live. Is there a sense of giving back? Now having defined wellbeing, could you tell us sort of what it's, how it's become as well top of the agenda or the agenda of Human Resources at Estee Lauder Companies, and how strengths also is fueling some of your reflection on that?

Theresa Ralston 25:08
Well, and as we know, you know, people really enjoy the process of kind of discovering things about themselves. You know, I think it lends to what I said about being really intentional. So we also, within our culture, talk a lot about How do you manage your energy? How do you manage your wellbeing? So I would say, while it's a current topic, it's something that we have always talked about. And the nice thing is, it's getting attention now, and the Gallup resources really help us focus on that with certain individuals and the pace. So from a, I would say, it's really even also tied to our inclusion efforts -- that if people feel, you know, if you're in a good frame of mind, if you're engaged, and if your life is functioning on all cylinders, you're happier, and you're more productive. So we really focus on the individual and the whole person.

Theresa Ralston 26:11
And we've always, we've really always done that. But the pace at which we work, wellbeing has to be put on the list. Not that we, everybody doesn't know it's important. And I would say that's, you know, sessions like what you're talking about, and Laragh, thank you, you guys really were great partners on that. It's putting it on their list. And then it's also giving employees permission, that you're saying, Look, we need to talk about this. You know, this is important. It needs to be on your list. It's on my list. It's on the company's list for you. And we're giving you permission to talk about it and to focus on it. So it's a safety, you know, we tie it to you feel comfortable; you feel as if you can, because that's part of it, too, is if you don't trust people, you don't think you can say, Hey, I'm struggling, or I think I'm bound for burnout, or whatever it might be. So building that into the culture, that's why I tied it to some of our inclusion efforts too is that people have to feel safe to talk about that.

Laragh Marchand 27:09
Yeah, and doing it through the lens of strengths also, maybe not the word sort of shortcuts, but ways of also knowing what people's needs might be. If you have high Positivity, you tend to have, or high Woo, Relator, you tend to really crave those social interactions, maybe a little bit more than people who might be high on Execution or you know, sort of Analytical themes, but depends, obviously, what the full picture is around their strengths. None of us are just one of those. But it's, I think through also thinking about tailoring, individualizing to people and knowing what they might need before they even raise their hand and say, Look, I'm, I'm suffering here from isolation. My profile, my strengths profile is very much about what I need to be able to thrive and also be retained in the business. I think everyone is feeling the heat when it comes to retention. And I'm sure with your growth phase, you are hiring.

Complementary Partnerships

Laragh Marchand 28:12
But there might be something there as well around keeping people as well, projecting themselves in the, in the long career. In terms of, maybe as well, your team, we could think about also in that very local, direct way. How does this come to express itself in how you work together, maybe how you start projects? Tell, and maybe tell us a little bit about the people you work with as well and how you might complement each other.

Theresa Ralston 28:41
Oh, absolute -- well, this, this could be a whole call. But I will try to keep that part, a couple of them might even be on here. So we, I have to tell you I, I've sat in a space where you were acknowledged for what you do well, and you were expected to show up with that. So, you know, expected to show up as your best self, and in, in a positive, energetic way. You know, not that every conversation was, was perfect, but you also appreciated expertise of other people in the room. You knew who you could ask for certain things. So kind of a entrepreneurial sort of spirit in how we would work.

Theresa Ralston 29:22
And in Enterprise Learning and Development, we, we take it really seriously that we are role models and examples for the organization. I can't tell you how many times, and in fact, I pulled it out so I could show it to you guys. Like, we all have play card, play cards that we put on our, our desk. If you're in a program, you receive this as your gift when you graduate. But in our team, it almost kind of turns into there'll be like, you know, there's Theresa. She's the Arranger. Or we'll have conversations that will say, I'll say, "Watch out! My Focus is going to kick in, and I know I get bossy when that happens." Like, we will talk about that with each other. And the leader of Enterprise Learning and Development is, has been a great learn for me, as someone who's been in the organization for a long time, because I can see her intentionally highlighting these talents and strengths and what individ -- each individual brings. I can see her intentionally working that into her team discussions and her individual discussions. And she laughs, because she's like, you know, "You're always telling me what --" I said, "Well, I just want to tell you that, I can tell you're doing it. And I think it's great." But that's what, we take that responsibility.

Theresa Ralston 30:38
And I have to tell you that there was, I said, kind of a small army that turned into a really big army. And when we have strengths events, everybody always wants to be there, and we can't always do that. You know, it's one of those, there are other things where I have to beg people or, you know, kind of talk them into, I need ops here, or I need some help. Well, that's not the case when it's a strengths session or when it's a conversation about what this, how this impacts our employees. And I think that's it too -- we see this as a tool that really helps our employees, and it helps our leaders help their employees. It helps them as individuals, it helps them as a person, and it helps them as a Estee Lauder employee.

Theresa Ralston 31:21
So we talk about it a lot, Laragh. You've been on calls with us; you hear us do that, where we will talk about, you know, I have someone on my team that I work the closest with. Her name's Julie. She's an Activator, which is really good for me, because it might take me a minute to want to, like, get started, but she likes to get started. One of the other coaches, his name is Jacques. He's a Restorative, I think, is his No. 1; might be about 30 or 32 for me. So I need someone who can slow me down and ask some of those questions. So those are just a couple of examples.

Theresa Ralston 31:56
Another person on, another thing about the team, Laragh, I wanted to mention is I've been reading a lot of your research about having a Best friend at work. And one of the people that we launched this philosophy with the organization all these years ago, I would say, is my best friend at work. And so when I read that, it really makes a lot of sense. So it's not just that you connect, but you connect on this really common purpose. And we're very proud of the work that we've been able to do together and what we've been able to build and how that's really been able to evolve throughout the organization. So, you know, probably everybody on my team, I would put on my Best friend list, but that's more, you know, my style. I don't know that everybody would say that. But --

Laragh Marchand 32:35
No, it's, a word you used and, that seems to sort of summarize beautifully what you've described is "intentional" -- that sense of really being quite Deliberative. And that is, of course, a theme in the 34. But there's a sense as well of Adaptability, whether, you know, obviously some people have that very much at the top. But it's thinking about, you're saying in interactions, you mentioned the colleague that had Restorative high and getting that dance right, the balance between the little bit what you need and how you need to express and be very much your authentic self, being comfortable with yourself, but also kind of thinking of how you can get people across the table what they need. You mentioned some of the resources, reading you've done. For those who have high Learner joining us, any, any specific books, anything, Gallup or otherwise, that you've found useful?

Theresa Ralston 33:33
You know, I have, and it's just not -- those books back there are not staged; those are actually the books that I have out. So they are Mrs. Estee Lauder, they are Mr. Leonard Lauder, and there are about three Gallup books. There's, actually, actually, there's a William Lauder, Leading From Every Chair, back there, too. But the manager, It's [about] the Manager. I would say, you know, I keep my small StrengthsFinder book, of course, and, you know, refuse to take the assessment again, because I'm so attached to my talents and have my numbers written in there. But I would say the, the manager, and I've even shared that with managers, that they, they like reading those descriptions of each, you know, whether that's in an ebook or it's in the hardcopy book. You know, we dug into wellbeing a little bit recently as well; I've had that one for some time. We have relationships with several universities. So we follow a lot of professors, and we'll follow some of their topics. So I'm reading those things, I would say, pretty much all the time.

Laragh Marchand 34:40
Awesome. Jim --

Challenges for 2023

Jim Collison 34:45
We've got, yeah, sorry. It's, I'm brand new to, to, to calls like this. Sorry, I was muted. We, we've got Certified Coaches listening. And they're thinking about the challenging, the headwinds that are ahead, as you think, and we always have headwinds. Like, it's not unique to this, but as we think about the headwinds ahead, and when we think about coaching in that, what are you anticipating, as you think about 2023? What are you anticipating and thinking about maybe some challenges that you're kind of preparing for, or at least thinking about right now, in early 2023?

Theresa Ralston 35:26
You know, it's a -- retention, of course; it's, it's engagement with employees. I would say that it's also resources. You know, there's so many good things we want to do with every single employee. So it would become, How do we continue to scale and reach employees in a, in a meaningful way? And that's why you've heard us talk about this real, this kind of top-down approach, because that's the only way we can really make that happen is through that approach. But we have one-on-one coaching that has started to build and develop throughout the organization. So we're looking at that more and more -- What are ways in which we can offer that to more employees at different levels? We're finding that talent, the expectation has become, whether you're thinking about coming to Estee Lauder or you're already here, they want to know what you're com-, that you care about them as a person. So having those interactions, and not, not necessarily mentoring, because we're actually really good at that. But someone who's actually, you know, helps you kind of unpack what you're working on from a strengths lens that's not your boss, necessarily. So how do we continue to find ways to scale that in such a large organization?

Jim Collison 36:45
Let me flip that question on its head and maybe ask it from a more strengths-based approach. Where are you hoping you'll soar in 2023? Where, as you think about the areas of growth, from a strengths perspective, from an engagement and wellbeing perspective, where, what are you really looking for, those areas that you want to soar?

Theresa Ralston 37:04
Well, and I think where, you know, it's unfortunate, sometimes, when you hear an exit interview, potentially, "My manager didn't care about me." Right? So one of the areas where we want to continue to soar is that people stay. And in our engagement surveys, say, my manager, I mean, they could be simple things, Jim, right? Like my manager actually listens to me. My manager gets me, and my manager is able to, you know, engage with me in ways that help me thrive. So that's, you know, that's kind of the magic that can happen. If people are happy, they work harder; the numbers reflect that. That's the win-win. And that's why the strengths-based culture is so important is how do we, you know, retention is higher; engagement results are higher. And it also is through this these real inclusive initiatives that we have, that we're really focusing on behavior change. So I would say that's what we're looking for in 2023.

Theresa Ralston 38:16
And it kind of goes back, Laragh, to what you said about it being intentional. How will I know that people feel like they belong? They speak up more, they feel comfortable, they can contribute. So that's really where our focus is, is How do we get people to contribute more and more in these areas where they bring a lot of strength?

Jim Collison 38:33
I love that. Laragh, you, as we kind of think about bringing this conversation in for a landing here, kind of thinking about that, what's been your favorite part of working with them? Oftentimes, we don't get this opportunity to recognize you for it. But Laragh, what's been your, what's been your favorite bright spot in working with them?

Laragh Marchand 38:51
It's a, it's a real joy working with Estee Lauder Companies and, and Theresa Ralston and team. It's very much always thinking of each other for things. So we try and transfer all the knowledge we have as a team and Gallup, as Gallup keeps pretty much Theresa updated on whatever might be coming out -- whether it's sending a book through the post, but less maybe anecdotal. It's really thinking about the strategy and how we best support. So there have been some successes and celebrations along the way. We had a fantastic celebration together last year. Our CEO Jim Clifton joined, and we had about -- Theresa, what was it? -- about 200 coaches, I think, joined. Everybody looked the part. It had a little Oscar feel to it. We all made an effort in how we dressed up. But for something that was set up virtual, with the circumstances that we know, and was less on stage and handing an award and sharing those moments together. We hope to do and get together again this year.

Laragh Marchand 40:00
Estee Lauder Companies, we're happy to see you reapply. So we have a very objective panel as well that examines every company's applications. And usually there's a sort of Top 3 that gets elected on a very sort of robust set of standards. But it's, it's been very good, at both the professional and personal level. And I think the, the road, hopefully, will be long because you build, and then obviously, there's always changes in an organization. You have growth. So I hope you always put your trust in us, but we really are very thankful for, for the partnership, and we absolutely treasure it. And we have a whole team behind the scenes that is very much involved -- Mark Zana is one of those on a daily basis as well in sort of supporting coaches and new ones who come through certification. So again, just, just very thankful for the trust you've had in our company.

Jim Collison 41:04
Theresa, you had mentioned, some might be listening, and recognition's a big part of this. Any, anybody that you -- you know, once you start mentioning names, it gets a little dangerous, because you don't want to leave anybody out. But any special recognition you want to make before we wrap it here?

Theresa Ralston 41:17
Yeah, absolutely. I mentioned a couple of those, you know, Jacques Duvoisin is on the team. He and I have really built a lot of these programs. Our Enterprise Learning and Development, Tulie White is my manager. So she really is the, you know, the driving engine behind this. It's been great, where we've had a lot of progress over the years, but acceleration has really happened in the last few years under her leadership. So I have to give her some of that credit. There are many others. You know, I would really be remiss to not mention that, you know, this was William Lauder and our CEO Fabrizio Freda are so committed to a strengths-based culture. It really makes it easy for us to walk into a room and talk about these topics when those two are such advocates of that's how we collaborate. That's how we make decisions. That's how we work together.

Theresa Ralston 42:05
So I'm sure there are, are others. Actually, one that might be on -- Rebecca Nikonchuk might be on here, so I'm gonna mention Rebecca as well. In addition to being just an operational master, as we roll out a lot of these programs, our talents are about as opposite as anybody I've worked with over the years, and she knows that. But for that, I think I also have to recognize her, because for me as a coach, that helps me learn as well that we're always kind of unpacking that. Our love for Gallup is mutual. So Laragh, thank you for the kind words. And the thought partnership really does help us elevate, you know, what we're doing here.

Theresa Ralston 42:46
When Laragh took on our account, it was funny, as we started to talk, she's like, "You know, you guys have really done some great things!" And I said, "You know, I think we have!" It was, it was nice to be able to have someone just say, you've done some really. And it's, you know, it made us reflect, which I think was also great for us. She mentioned we had, Jim Clifton joined us when they announced that we'd won the award. One thing he said that really stood out, and I wanted to kind of add this as part of our trajectory of what we want to focus on, is he said, you know, as a coach, you are really changing people's lives. I think he was quoting a client, but it stuck with our coaches, and what a powerful purpose to have that you are changing people's lives. And even if you, if you're a leader, that you're using this approach, you also are changing people's lives. And that's a big deal. So how do we define and measure that, Jim, I think kind of becomes a challenge. Right.

Jim Collison 43:42
That's a great way to wrap it. Laragh, let's take a second, and would you think Theresa for being here today?

Laragh Marchand 43:47
Theresa, a joy. Thank you again. We could see all your, all your strengths shine through and, as a, as the high Achiever that you are. We wish you also very good success, high wellbeing and health for the year ahead, so we'd be in constant touch. And Theresa, take care.

Jim Collison 44:07
Theresa, I thank you as well. Thanks for coming out. It's always great to meet -- in my role, it's always, I get the best part of hearing all these stories, and what's going on, and Estee Lauder is no exception. And so we're excited to hear about the future and things that are going on in the future. And maybe next year, we'll have to follow up with you in some way, to see how 2023 wrapped up. But great job. It sounds like you guys are doing some exciting things, and I just love what you're doing there. So thanks for joining us today.

Theresa Ralston 44:35
Jim, thank you for having me. I told you I feel like I know you because I tune into your podcast, but it was nice to actually meet you. So thank you to all the coaches that are gonna listen in. I learned from listening to your podcast. So I just also want to give a shout-out to all the Certified Coaches that participate in all the forums that you lead as well.

Jim Collison 44:54
Well, thanks for listening! That's always, you know, sometimes we create these things, you never know who is going to get that. And Laragh, thanks for all your work to make this happen as well, and for you being here. You guys hang tight for me one second. Let me wrap this up. And we'll let the audience know, they, and remind them to take advantage of all the opportunities they have and all the resources we have now in Gallup Access. So head out to Sign in, if you haven't been in there in a while. Now is probably the time. Head out there, and we got a lot of resources for you. For coaching, master coaching, or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, we mention that many times here, you can send us an email:, and we'll get you started. We, I think we mentioned the Summit coming up here, the 2023 Gallup at Work Summit. Head, head out to -- all one word. Get more information about coming out June 5, 6 and 7. You'll want to join us here in person, or we have a virtual ticket as well. Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and we want to thank you for joining us today. Big thanks to the audience that was out there and your questions. Thanks, everybody, for coming out. With that, we'll say, goodbye, everybody.

Laragh Marchand's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Context, Focus, Positivity, Belief and Ideation.

Theresa Ralston's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Communication, Maximizer, Individualization and Arranger.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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