Lisa Gable has served four U.S. presidents and two governors, counseled Fortune 500 CEOs, and represented global public-private partnerships and nonprofits with an end goal of moving organizations to higher levels of performance. Bi-partisan in nature, she has brought together political parties, corporate competitors and disparate nations to foster quality leadership, diplomacy and results that better society and create sustainable partnerships and profitable business models.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Lisa Gable: I am a five-time award-winning Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author and recognized as an innovative global businesswoman who leads with discipline and diplomacy. In addition to multiple corporate roles, including CEO, I have served US Presidents and Governors, as well as a US Ambassador and UN Delegate.
Over the course of my career, I have been called to turnaround failing organizations—businesses, teams, nonprofits, political campaigns, and government projects—to solve seemingly intractable problems. I have learned that the key to course-correcting when things go South is applying process engineering—strategically evaluating everything your organization does and how it does it—with authority and humanity.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffet, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Lisa Gable: I am a keynote speaker and writer on partnership, mentorship, diversity, and relationship building. I am uniquely positioned to support the next generation of leaders and organizations that are solving the world’s biggest problems.
I have served four U.S. presidents and two governors, counseled Fortune 500 CEOs, and represented global public-private partnerships and nonprofits with an end goal of moving organizations to higher levels of performance. Bi-partisan in nature, I bring together political parties, corporate competitors and disparate nations to foster quality leadership, diplomacy and results that better society and create sustainable partnerships and profitable business models.
My work has carried me to dozens of conferences and events where I have met with global leaders, spent time with some of the world’s largest manufacturers and their employees and executives, 52 US military installations interviewing over 1,000 military personnel, engaged with local Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Girl Scouts of the USA to better understand the needs of America’s youth, and met with representatives of over 200 nations through my service as a democracy advocate.
What advice do you wish you received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Lisa Gable: I am in “phase 3” of my life, semi-retirement driven by passion and purpose to accomplish specific objectives. Daily, I determine how I can best deploy the plethora of experiences with which I have been blessed to enable and support the next generation of leaders and those who are investing in solutions to solve big problems.
The means of execution are an affiliation with the SMU Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity and the Diplomatic Courier, promotion of my Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling book–Turnaround: How to Change Course When Things are Going South and accepting speaking engagements. Each activity requires an investment of time and money.
As a former CEO, I became accustomed to staff support. Executing my mission without that support requires a unique level of diligence, discipline and continued financial investment to achieve the level of impact which creates a return-on-investment. It requires looking at my own activities as “Lisa Gable Inc.” and forcing myself to continue to prioritize and analyze the value of the actions I am taking against the cost of time and money required to achieve that value.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Lisa Gable: Dr. Craig Barrett, former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation, was a mentor early in my career. He kindled my passion for problem-solving which is why the organizations that tend to be a little bit broken, or maybe a lot of bit broken, call me. It is not surprising that my work “bible” would be Andy Grove’s bestseller, High Output Management. I reference it often when I am determining how to best apply manufacturing process discipline to turnaround programs in business, government and philanthropy.
The book I gift the most–as it was required reading for my staff-is John Doerr’s Measure What Matters, a follow on to Andy’s work that is focuses on management by objectives.
Christopher Hitchens, an American journalist, is quoted as saying that “everyone has a book in them” Have you written a book? If so, please share with us details about it. If you haven’t, what book would you like to write and how would you like it to benefit the readers?
Lisa Gable: In my Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller, Turnaround – How to Change Course When Things Are Going South (IdeaPress Publishing, October 05, 2021), I share my simple but powerful method for breathing new life into the most troubled ventures:
- Visualize the future—don’t fix what’s there; start from scratch.
- Break down the present—ditch what isn’t working; keep what does.
- Create a path to your future—map out critical decision and actions needed.
- Execute with confidence and diplomacy—speed up by partnering well with others.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?.
Lisa Gable: People!
Your vision—however large it might be–can only be achieved when you analyze what went wrong in the past and how you plan to change it.
Ultimately, everything comes down to people and it always has. Because the majority of the time it is people who caused the problems and people who have to fix them.
Your big ideas involve people and what is happening at this moment in people’s lives. How we help individuals and teams bridge gaps could be one of the most important things we can do to keep problem solvers moving forward.
What does “success” in the year to come mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Lisa Gable: In these turbulent times, it is my mission to help the next generation solve the complex problems of today and tomorrow.
Every day, we should be energized and inspired to act with purpose, but right now our sense of purpose seems to be waning. It’s been tough and our energy can dissipate. The words “I can’t” frequently are part of our conversation as we make personal tradeoffs as prices increase or we get overwhelmed. Political advocacy is frustrating as politicians present a problem as too big to solve or too big to fail. It’s not surprising that people throw up their hands and wonder why try.
But we can never forget, that even the most basic actions—done with compassion and empathy/doing something for another person– is not only the right thing to do from a human perspective, but it pays dividends when you give people a chance they may not have had. When you write a letter of recommendation, introduce someone to a job opportunity or help a critical organization at a key stage of growth.
I want to help people understand: :“Do not wait for the green light, you are the green light.” [Dr. Jacinta Mpalyenkana, PhD, MBA]
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Lisa Gable for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Lisa Gable or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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