The Power Of Compassionate Leadership With Valerie Love

28 Nov , 2022 podcasts

The Power Of Compassionate Leadership With Valerie Love

CMO Valerie Love | Compassionate Leadership


A compassionate leader is someone whose heart seeks to understand other people’s experiences. This openness shows the importance of curiosity in each step of one’s journey. Our guest for today is not one who takes for granted curiosity in her life, taking her across different roles and cultures. Katherine Twells sits down with Valerie Love, the Senior Vice President for Human Resources for Coca-Cola North America. In this episode, Valerie shares with us her journey and the lessons she learned from her diverse professional background. She highlights the value of curiosity in her journey and how this allowed her to be more compassionate and conscious as a leader. Valerie then shares what she learned from going through tough times with the pandemic and why self-care is important. Join this conversation and discover how we, as compassionate leaders, can illuminate our path and those of others.

Listen to the podcast here


The Power Of Compassionate Leadership With Valerie Love

How Curiosity And Belief Can Illuminate Our Path

I am so honored to welcome one of Coca-Cola’s own, Valerie Love. Valerie serves as our Senior Vice President for Human Resources for Coca-Cola North America. Prior to joining us, she served as the Global Vice President for Human Resources supporting Johnson & Johnson consumer supply chain and global quality.

Valerie started her career at General Motors where she spent time in both domestic and international assignments, including Argentina and Germany, amazing experiences, and she kept growing in responsibility. She took on roles within finance, operations, and global HR design. Valerie has always been a leader and an advocate for diversity and inclusion with key leadership impact both at J&J and Coca-Cola but she doesn’t stop there. She is incredibly passionate about serving her community as well.

She’s a Board Member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and serves as a Board Of Trustee Member at Clark Atlanta University. Also, she’s Vice Chair and Board Member of the National Black MBA Association. Honestly, there’s almost too much to share because she does so many things and gives back in so many ways. In her spare time, if you believe that she has any, she enjoys running and has completed three marathons. She is a delightful and wise human, and you’re going to know in our conversation that when it comes to compassionate leadership, she is the real deal. Please enjoy the conversation with the very amazing Valerie Love.

Valerie, thank you so much for taking the time to have this conversation. I’m grateful.

Thank you so much for having me, Katherine.

For the folks out there reading, and I’ve already given the bio before we started the conversation, Valerie is one of our senior leaders here at the Coca-Cola Company. Since I have gotten to know her, see her in action, see her at conferences, and tell her story, I knew that we needed to tell her story here because it’s a story of wisdom, compassion, learning, growth, and so much that you can share with us. I’m going to launch right into the story of Valerie. We all have a resume and there are so many amazing things that you’ve done, but can you give us a little bit about how it all started? How did you find your way to where you are now?

I would say my journey started as a young child. I’m the youngest of six children. I grew up in a rural community in West Tennessee. It’s a very close-knit family. We’ve grown up loving and owning each other. Our parents required us to focus on nurturing and supporting each other. My grandparents were the same way. They would always tell me, “You can do anything you want to do.” These were grandparents who didn’t have a formal education but they knew they wanted better for me and my siblings. I was always curious. My mom still tells the story of, “I had so many whys.”

I channeled that to read all the time and spend time in my community learning and being in special programs with Girl Scouts and brownies. I wanted to do it all. I always believed that I could do things that others may have said I couldn’t do. Growing up and in elementary school, middle school, junior high, and high school, my teachers always encouraged me to push, do whatever I wanted to do, and strive for excellence.

That’s always been in my plan because that’s what my teachers and others instilled in me and my siblings as well. I went to undergraduate school at a historically Black college and university because my family all attended, so I knew growing up that this is where I’m going to school. I was fortunate enough to get an academic scholarship. My sister and I, the last two, were both on academic scholarships together and we pushed each other. We said, “You got to envision what’s possible.”

I’ve always felt like I could do more. When challenging assignments or experiences came about, I would be one of the first ones to raise my hand even if I wasn’t sure about whether or not I could be successful. I wanted to do it, and that’s what guided me through my undergrad graduate school and then into my career. I started as a financial analyst. Most people don’t know until they see the resume that I started in finance, but I quickly learned, Katherine, that I love people.

As much as I loved the numbers and wanted to do budgets and product costs and all those things, I wanted to be in a people-focused role. One of my leaders at that time said, “Let’s put you out in the plant as a first-line supervisor, and you get the experience with people and can learn the business.” If you can imagine a 24 or 26-year-old going into a manufacturing plant as a first-line supervisor with United autoworkers.

It did help shape me to lead with intention the way that I try to do now because you learn negotiation skills and compassion. You learn how to support those no more than you do about the business but there’s a role that you play to help to enable them to be successful in their roles. That sparked the journey that I’ve been on. After my first-line supervisor role, I went into a labor relations role and HR. I’ve had two international assignments. That curiosity, to get back to your question, is what set the pace and the course that I’ve been on for many years.

CMO Valerie Love | Compassionate Leadership

Compassionate Leadership: When you lead with intention, you learn negotiation skills, compassion, and how to support.


Nature Versus Nurture On Curiosity

Valerie, a question for you that maybe neither one of us can answer, but I’m curious about your speculation. You were so incredibly blessed to be born into a family of such nurturing. The name Love, love was everywhere you looked, which is incredible. Do you think that there’s nature and nurture? Do you think there’s a DNA component of this curiosity and desire to push and do more? What would you think about that?

I didn’t feel like I had a choice because everyone around me was reading, curious, and asking questions. I do think that it is something that can be built into your DNA and can be incorporated into your learning trajectory. A willingness to see the impossible, be open to others’ ideas, and see others as the times that I’ve had traveling around the world have helped me to become a global citizen.

Curiosity can be built into your DNA and incorporated into your learning trajectory. You just need that willingness to see the impossible, be open to others' ideas, and see others as you're equal. Share on X

I love going into areas where I know nothing about the culture and exploring it because I find the good in every demographic and every part of the world. Even in the most remote, desolate, poverty-stricken parts of the world that I’ve traveled to, there’s beauty and learning there and so much you can give and receive. I do think it’s part of the DNA but it’s a learned skill too. You can adapt to the nurturing, the curiosity, and all those things that help you to be a better person.

I hear, Valerie, the thread that you’re pulling through here is always the belief. I try to tell my sons this all the time. Even when I hear negative self-talk, I can’t do this. I’m not going to be able to do this. Everything begins with believing that it’s possible, it doesn’t mean you know for sure and you don’t have fear. You don’t get intimidated by these unfamiliar situations, but if you fundamentally, somewhere inside, believe that anything is possible, then you can go on this incredible voyage of discovery, which is what you’ve done.

I say to myself and also to people that I’m mentoring or anyone willing to listen, you have to silence the naysayers. Sometimes that naysayer is you. It’s you telling yourself that you’re not enough or I’m not ready, or I’m not whatever. You have to silence that and say, “Why not?” Remind yourself that I am enough and I’m enough as the person that I am. I don’t have to reinvent myself or assimilate to be like anyone else. God made me the way that I am and I’m perfect in the way that He created me. I’m not perfect, but I’m perfect in the way that He created me to be my best self.

Silencing that naysayer and saying, “I’m enough.” The other thing I truly believe is that you have to see it to be it. The more that I see people that look like me that have had experiences like me, I didn’t grow up in what most would say is a privileged environment. We weren’t wealthy but we were rich in love, caring, and compassion.

That’s carried me throughout my life. I have four brothers and a sister. When we start a conversation and end the conversation, it’s always, “I love you,” and that means so much to know that you’ve got that love and that surrounding of everything you need, you’ve got it. That helps a lot. You have to create an environment where there’s support and love, and when you have those things, you can go far.

Negative Self-Talk: Fear Of Failure

Valerie, love is the ultimate thing that binds all of us into the universe. You mentioned this idea of comparison. We are all each our own ray of light, gifts, or things that we bring into the world, different from other people. Since we launched the Compassion Lab at Coke a couple of years ago, we do our leader-led session so people get into the conversation.

It is amazing to me that inner critic, naysayers, and the voice. When people are vulnerable and they start to open up and share, “I haven’t felt that I’m good or worthy enough,” over and over again, everybody from all different experience levels. I’m so curious. Why do you think that’s there? What is it about that? Why is that voice so strong in our heads?

It’s a fear of failure and a fear of not being accepted or not meeting expectations. That is ingrained into us, oftentimes, at a young age. There are scores, grades, or awards given. If you don’t overachieve, then you don’t feel you’ve accomplished what you want to accomplish. Sometimes, the fear of failure and the notion that you have to be perfect at everything before you could even be considered for an opportunity. Oftentimes, when people are considering roles, for example, in the workplace, they want to be 100% ready for a role. How many times are you 100% ready for it?

Never. You’re not reaching high enough.

If you are, you’ve reached a plateau and you need to challenge yourself a little bit more. It needs to be something that’s going to cause you to scratch your head and say, “How do I figure this out?” That’s when you’re growing and being stretched. I oftentimes will say that creeps in when you’ve not been motivated in the right way or you haven’t been supported in the right way. Even when you fail, there’s an infrastructure that props you right back up and says, “What did you learn? What do you take from that experience to make sure you have a greater likelihood of success in the next project, assignment, or role?” I do think that fear of failure causes us to doubt our readiness.

CMO Valerie Love | Compassionate Leadership

Compassionate Leadership: You are growing when you reach a plateau and need to challenge yourself. That’s when you’re being stretched.


Curiosity: Gift Of A Diverse Journey

Internally at Coke, as we’ve talked about the growth mindset, so much it’s about a reframe of, “What might I learn from this? What could I discover about myself versus if I don’t do this perfectly right, people will judge me?” This mastery of our mind is probably one of the single most important things we have to learn to do. It’s practice all the time. I want to go back in time to your 23 or 24-year-old self walking onto that floor.

Here, you were doing finance and saw the ability for you to go lead people at a young age. From there, you lived in different cultures, learned different things, and went into different cross-functions from all these experiences on your journey. It is a diverse and courageous background. You’ve touched on some of the gifts of this and your growth, but what else has been the gift of having this incredible diverse journey that you’ve had?

Thank you for that. It has been vast and I’ve truly appreciated every part of my journey. I would say the one key fact, and I’ve said this before, is curiosity. I often say, “What if?” I don’t want to leave anything uncovered that I didn’t try or wondered about it and didn’t at least give a chance. Staying open-minded and very intentional about each experience that I’ve had to gain as much as I can from that experience so that it helps prepare me for what’s next. None of those roles that I’ve had that I feel like I was ready for.

I remember when I was first asked to take my first international assignment in Argentina. I had to quickly refresh my mind and say, “Where is Argentina? Is it in South America?” I’d never been there before and I didn’t speak Spanish, but as soon as my leader asked me about the opportunity, I said yes. There is power in saying yes. I’m figuring out all the rest of it after the fact, but I said yes.

I told my family I was going and they thought I bump my head on something because they were like, “Why would you go that far away alone? You don’t speak the language. It’s a third-world country.” I wanted to do it and I didn’t know if I would be successful and would complete the assignment as it was intended, but I knew I wanted to do it and there was nothing that would tell me, “Don’t do it.” I was all in.

You were willing to go on a grand adventure. I thought I was brave getting on a one-way ticket from Florida to California. I was not even about going outside the country. Even though you’ve traveled to work, live, immerse yourself into that, lead and have to be in a role where you’re not only learning the lay of the land, you’re learning the cultural lay of the land around you. There are layers to all of that. It’s amazing.

When I moved to Germany, I continued to support our international locations. I was traveling to Israel, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar. I was in Thailand, China, Brazil, you name it. I was going to places. Oftentimes, I was the only one that looked like me, but it never deterred me from wanting to be in those places, learning as much as I could about the culture, and trusting that people are the same. People in the US are as kind as anywhere else. I must say that the experiences I had and the relationships that I built around the world are invaluable. I never once felt like I was at risk or that people weren’t open to learning as much about my background and heritage as I was to learn about theirs.

There’s so much richness in those relationships and experiences. Valerie, you said something important. We all may look, speak, and come from different backgrounds and experiences, but inside, so many of us are trying to do the same thing. We want to feel safe, seen, heard, belong, and grow.

We’re all trying to do that. When we initially named this program the Compassion Lab, it was because compassion at the heart is about seeking to understand not only to be kind to yourself but to understand other people’s experiences. The more you do that, you realize their journey is not that different from mine at the heart.

That’s exactly right. We’re all the same. We’re all striving for joy. I used to say I strive for happiness. I’m reminded that happiness can be fleeting, but joy is something that’s deep down inside. I believe that everyone wants to have a quality of life. They want to be surrounded by people that they love. They want health and have the opportunities to go as far as their skills, capabilities, and desires can take them.

Happiness can be fleeting, but joy is something that's deep down inside. Share on X

When those things are limited, people feel they’re oppressed and denied the freedom to be whom they were born to be. I like to say that I unleash that as much as possible in the roles that I’ve had most recently in my career. I love doing what I do because it allows me to help people tap into their potential and do things they never dreamed that they would do. I came from a rural town in Tennessee, and I’ve moved nine times in my career. I still have fuel in my tank. I still want to do more. I want to explore more, give more, and make a difference. When you approach it from what can I give while I’m receiving, it’s unlimited possibilities.

Traits And Characteristics Of A Leader

I have to say, oftentimes, I’ll have a guest on the show that I don’t know or work with. We’re having a lovely conversation in this domain, but I have the privilege of seeing you at work. I will tell everyone who’s reading this conversation that you live everything that you say. You already know this within yourself but I do want to honor it in this conversation that we’re having that you are a remarkable, courageous leader, and you are Valerie.

Part of the Compassion Lab, we talk about conscious leadership because leaders open space to create a ripple effect for others to have them step in feeling safe, seen, and heard. When you model that growth, they then feel. They can step into that type of growth as well. As you think about leadership, your own and some of the best leadership, what are some of the traits and characteristics that you think are important?

I love starting with servant leadership, being of service to others. Realizing the role that I have is to ensure everyone can be at their best. Everyone can have the opportunity to learn at whatever pace that’s at and can develop. I believe servant leadership is so important because that’s our responsibility to be at service.

I definitely think a great listening skill. I love to hear stories. I like telling stories as well. I’m trying to build my storytelling skills because there’s so much in the spoken word, but there’s so much in the unspoken as well. When you listen with intention, you learn a lot about a person where they may not talk about what’s really getting in the way of them being at their best, but if you pay attention, you can tap into that and ask the right questions they hope to uncover what the barriers are.

CMO Valerie Love | Compassionate Leadership

Compassionate Leadership: When you listen with intention, you learn a lot about a person. You really pay attention and help uncover the barriers that get in the way of them being their best.


Having great listening skills, curiosity, and working to be an inspirational leader is what I aspire to. Inspiration is something that’s different for every individual. I want to inspire people to see me and see that if it’s possible for her, it’s possible for me because there’s room for us all to be at our best and continue to thrive. I’m on a journey. I’m a lifetime learner. There’s so much more that I want to do. I look at my mother for example. My mother is at an age where you would think she’d be in a rocking chair and relaxing in retirement. At 80 plus years old, she still goes to the gym 2 to 3 days a week.

That’s better than a lot of younger people are doing.

I know that. I see all of that shifts. Being available, accessible, and meeting people where they are, are leadership skills where you’re trying to make yourself available. Individuals need you. All of us are leaders so it’s not about a title. We all have a role to lead.

I agree and there are a couple of things that you said. One is that inspiration is different for different people. There was a time when there was this leadership model of charisma and being this certain persona, but leadership is so much about how you make people feel. It ties into the listening that you talked about. Some people might not have the opportunity or means to travel the world but what you said about listening, even if it’s your family member, spouse, or friend, can you be curious about even the people closest to you? What could you learn and what could you uncover? That presence is such a powerful thing. I love everything you said about that.

What I would also say, Katherine, is there’s something to be said about healing. You can’t begin to heal until you’ve been heard. Whatever it is that’s getting in the way or whatever the trauma has been, the devastation, or the loss, people want to feel like they’ve been heard, and then they can start to heal, move forward, and turn the page. One of the things I always tell people is that when you have a negative situation or something that didn’t go well, you can’t stay there. At some point, you have to turn the page and finish the story because there is a next chapter, the next episode, and the next event. You have to turn the page and move forward.

You can't begin to heal until you've been heard. Share on X

We do and sometimes we might feel like we’re the victim of a circumstance. Actually, we are the writer of our story. We’re on the hero’s journey, so how we choose to face whatever does happen can define our path and make us victorious in a million ways if we choose to step into that arena and do the hard stuff. To your point, bear witness to each other on the tough things that happen because we all have tough things that happen.

Lessons From Tough Times

Speaking of those tough things, here we are, years into this pandemic situation, now becoming endemic. There have been layers and layers, if we’re honest, about the trauma that people have experienced from lockdowns to everything that happened with George Floyd and the social justice conversations to inflation and war. It’s a lot for a human to take. We were talking a little bit before about the people of our company, what we see, and what people need. What do you think we’ve gained from this time and what do you think we’ve lost? Where do you think we are now from all of this?

I’ll tell you, I joined the company seven months before the pandemic hit, so it was a challenging time. I like the word that you used, trauma. By and large, trauma is one of the words that I use throughout this whole pandemic and social justice. It felt like trauma. What we’ve learned is the need for connection and having that human connection in a way that we feel we’re part of a whole.

During the pandemic, especially in the early part, when we didn’t know what we didn’t know, we were in such isolation. The anxiety level was high and the uncertainty was there. We were thinking about our children, our families, those that we were caregivers to, and our own well-being of how we get on the other side of this and how we maintain our health and our livelihood while all these things are changing around us. People began to focus on what matters most.

Work is important but there’s nothing like making sure your family is safe, protected, and healthy. The time that was focused on the children who were learning from home and the spouses where you’ve got to both try to manage your work life from the same space, it became more intentional, I believe of making sure we were taking care of ourselves and then of each other.

I learned so much more about my team through Zoom and Teams because you got to see the pets and the children. I learned the children’s names and I want to know names. When I talk to my direct reports, I ask about the husband, the children, the dog, and the sick puppy. I want to know because that’s what makes you who you are before I get to the whole person. It’s not about the office work, but I want to know about some of the things that bring you joy outside of work, like your hobbies.

How are you managing the pandemic? What can I do to help relieve some of this? Should we turn our cameras off? Should we minimize and shorten our meetings until we get through this? I would say we learned compassion. Speaking of the Compassion Lab, we had to be a little more patient with one another and allow a little more grace and space because people needed to step away and say, “I need to take care of this. If I don’t take care of this, I’m not at my best for the work that I need to do for the company. “

All of that came into play. The isolation and the loneliness were painful. As much as we’re working in this hybrid fashion, which I love, the flexibility of when you need to focus and put your head down, you don’t have to get dressed and be in traffic. We’ve always talked about ideation, collaboration, and celebration as reasons to come together.

I believe all of those are perfect opportunities to be with your peers and colleagues and be together to make sure you don’t lose that because there’s something about being together. That is the essence of the energy of the Coca-Cola company. Being in front of each other, walking the hallways, that stride, and that pep in your step when you can walk in and see a colleague, bounce into a space, and ask a question, there’s nothing that matches that.

There’s also this purpose and intention of how you use your time, how you work, and your new ways of working. I like flexibility in a hybrid nature because all of us know what our core responsibilities are. We all know how to make sure those connections are happening in an intentional way. What I hope is happening is that people are connecting, coming into the office, and making sure they’re coming in to maximize the opportunities to be together to do the three things that I talked about around collaboration, ideation, and celebration. Feeling good about it so they don’t feel I’m going into the office to sit down and not connect with people.

You bring up so many important things about this journey we’ve been on. I think we’re really pioneering a new way of being and we’re all trying to figure it out. All of us got used to the home office, but everything you’re touching on is this primal need. It’s the way we’re wired to be together. We aren’t wired to be separated in these little pods apart from each other. We are energetic beings.

Even though we can feel each other’s energy through video to a point, it’s not like being together. I had a multi-day meeting with a customer not that long ago and the energy was having drinks together after the meeting, talking about our lives, and laughing. Think about it. When you’re virtual, you go from meeting to meeting. Sometimes, you have meetings that are funny and you start laughing, but a lot of times, it’s business and it’s that in-between spaces when we start to laugh and learn about each other. That’s what was missing. Even the transitions, we didn’t have our transitions. It’s all blurred together in one big thing. It’s an amazing time.

Laughter is the best medicine. There are times when I’m in a venue or somewhere and I hear someone laughing, and I start laughing. I don’t know what they’re laughing about, but it’s infectious and we all need that. There’s something about relaxing and enjoying the moment. My hope is that our associates are taking the time for self-care during this period of time as well. Take walks, read a good book, step away, and do those things that are great hobbies that help you to refuel and to reset because these last few years have been hard.

As we come, hopefully, to the other side of this pandemic, there are other issues. It’s always from one major issue, there’s always something. Gain those skills and tools that help you to work through those. There’s nothing wrong with seeking therapy and having someone to bounce issues off of to talk to. That’s a professional that can give you some sound advice to reassure you that you’ll get through this or here are some things that can help you get back to being at your best. There are a lot of tools that are offered by the company. I encourage people to seek those tools out.

You can talk more openly about it or you can do it in a confidential way, whatever works best for you. I encourage people to focus on taking care of the self because you can’t pour from an empty cup. When you’ve allowed yourself to not be refueled, get your cup refueled, or get what you need to be at your best so that you can help others, you’re not serving yourself well, your family, or your colleagues.

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The Importance Of Self-Care

What you’re saying is so critically true yet I’m fascinated. The Lab was created to try to build those practices and skills along the way because, as you said, there’s always the next thing. It’s not like, “We’re done. Time to sit back, put our feet up, and relax.” Whether it’s a collective challenge or a personal challenge, there’s always the next thing.

How do we ground ourselves in love, support, belonging, tools, and practices to help us prepare ourselves? There’s data on this. We know this yet I’m amazed by how many conversations I get in with people. They don’t do it and they say, “I can’t because I have to take care of my kids and work. Why do you think that is? Why do people struggle with doing for themselves?

A lot of times, and this is my opinion because you’re asking me, people feel that’s a selfish act to take care of themselves because we are nurturers. We’ve grown up believing we need to take care of others and be good to others. You have to think about yourself as well. You cannot take care of the temple, your own body, well-being, and mind, and create a space where you feel you are taking care of the most important part of you. As I mentioned before, unless you do that, everything else suffers. It gets that feeling that if we spend a lot of time on ourselves, we’ve not factored in all those that we love around us. When in fact, if you take care of yourself, you can give even more to others because you have something to give.

Unless you take care of yourself, everything else suffers. Share on X

You can renew that energy and be the gift that you need to be. It’s the opposite of selfishness but you’re right. We get indoctrinated into these ideas and beliefs. Sometimes, the flip side is true. We talk about this a lot in these conversations and I always want to challenge everyone reading. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be small. It can be taking a small break, taking a deep breath, or even taking a walk for ten minutes in the middle of the day. It doesn’t have to be a giant thing but little, baby steps can help heal us, as you’ve talked about already.

There is power in the pause for sure.

Making The World Better

I have two last questions because I’m watching our time to be mindful of that. With this next one, we’ve touched on but I want to package it. You have a beautiful way of gracefully talking about these ideas and putting them into a wonderful perspective. We’ve changed through all of this and we’ve talked about compassion and love, but we all have a part to play in making a better world. Making change, stepping in, and doing our part, what do you think is a mindset that we all need to have to contribute to changing the world and making it better piece by piece?

That’s a big task. I do think we all play a role and live in the world a little bit better than we found it. Having more compassion and being open to those who are different from you, who experience life in a different way than you because we’re all on a journey. We’re all becoming who we desire to be and intended to be. If we show up with more love and caring and assume good intentions versus being so quick to anger, that’s work for all of us. There are days when I’m not at my best and I catch myself because it’s so much easier to be nice. Just smile.

We’re human. We do get triggered sometimes.

There’s so much that keeps us unsettled about how the next person feels about us. We have to get out of our own way a little bit. Paying too much attention to the news will keep you in a dark place. I know for sure, Katherine, there are more good people than bad who want to show love and spread love than those who don’t.

I stay encouraged because I know there are far more good people in this world than bad. For those that aren’t coming from a good place, my heart goes out to them because you wonder what’s getting in the way of them wanting happiness for themselves and others. I extend compassion to those who want to hurt harm or drive division as well.

There’s suffering that’s driving that behavior. There’s no question. Compassion is needed all around. What was that song? What’s Love Got To Do With It? Everything. I was writing down as I think about the thread throughout our entire conversation. Certainly more love. Your name was destiny for you.

Curiosity, belief, and inspiration all start with seeing what could be and then stepping in to create what could be. It’s so beautiful everything that you’ve shared and you’ve answered the last question, but I’ll frame it up anyway as a parting word or thought. I always like to close the show with what’s some of the greatest wisdom you’ve ever gotten that has made a difference in your life. I do think that you’ve shared it. Whether it’s a piece of wisdom or parting thoughts, Valerie, what would you want to leave our audience with at the end of this conversation?

I would say be a lifetime learner, stay curious, and never ever let anyone edit your dreams or aspirations. If your dreams or aspirations change, it’s because you wanted to change them, not because someone else has told you that you can’t do it, you’re not good enough, or you’re not the right person. Stay in charge of your destiny and continue to grow and learn and lean into discomfort because that’s when you grow.



You are in charge of your destiny. You are the captain of your own ship. Thank you, Valerie, for not only what you do to model everything you’ve shared with all of us in the company. There is so much heart and care inside of our company based on our leaders like you who show that to us every day so thank you for that. For all that you do in the world, you contribute. We didn’t even get into all the ways you make a difference in the community and the million ways that you make an impact. I want to express my sincere gratitude for all that you are and for taking the time to share this.

Thank you, Katherine, and thank you for all that you do. I see you and you’re doing remarkable work. Thank you for your leadership.

It’s wonderful to be seen, so let’s keep doing that for each other.

Thank you. Take care.


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About Valerie Love

CMO Valerie Love | Compassionate LeadershipValerie started her professional career at General Motors and during her 20 year tenure she spent time in both local and international assignments (Argentina and Germany) where her levels of responsibility increased with each new appointment to include roles within finance, operations (manufacturing) and HR: global compensation, leading and providing overall direction and coordination of salaried HR activities for Sales & Marketing, Global Design, Global Research & Development and Strategic Initiatives; growing the talent base of both technical and leadership staff; providing HR consultation advice and support during the design and implementation stages of new facilities in emerging markets (key leadership role in launching Greenfield sites (startup plants) in China, Thailand, Poland, Brazil, Argentina and Tel Aviv, Israel).


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