The Bold Leader Blog

/Chris LaVictoire Mahai
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About Chris LaVictoire Mahai

Chris is the President of Aveus, a division of Medecision. Her career includes more than 25 years in leading, developing, and implementing business and marketplace strategies. Through Aveus, Chris has worked with over 100 organizations from large global enterprises to family-owned businesses and start-ups, non-profits and other service organizations. She has served on the board of several businesses and non-profit organizations, and is an active investor in women-owned and led businesses.

Sara Gavin Interview: Bold Leaders Step Up and Simplify

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Chris Malecek, an Aveus Advisory Board member, suggested I interview bold leader Sara Gavin, President of Weber Shandwick North America. I’ve known Chris and relied on his always clear, on point advice for decades. All that time, Chris has worked with and for Sara. So when he suggested her for this series, I was thrilled. Sara and I have known each other for almost as long, but neither of us could recall the last time we’d spoken, let alone crossed paths. I’ve known from our intersecting circles that she is a great leader. This conversation confirmed that she is also bold. […]

What is a Bold Leader?

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There are whole sections in business libraries and bookstores dedicated to the topic of leadership.  What it is.  What it requires.  Masters write about it and rewrite about it over and over again. Some new and long established names you may have read:  Peter Drucker, John Kotter, Seth Godin, Warren Bennis, Daniel Pink, Gary Hamel, Steven Covey, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Goleman, Jim Collins, Malcolm Gladwell, Patrick Lencioni… and I could go on.  The field is large and rich.  People study and pursue advanced degrees in it. […]

Mary Jeffries Interview: Don’t Leave Until After a Triggering Event

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I’ve known Mary Jeffries since she was the CFO of a startup PR firm in Minneapolis more years ago than either of us will admit. Many from those days would credit Mary with doing “whatever it takes” to push through challenges, taking the organization to the next level. One example is when Mary was seen raiding the vending machine, collecting coins and bills to help with cash flow… […]

Charlotte Otto Interview: Lessons Learned from an Enterprise Organization over 3 Decades (Part 2)

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I recently conducted a bold leader interview with Charlotte Otto and shared what she learned from being at the center of communications at P&G over 33 years. (Click here to read part 1.) During our conversation, Charlotte shared a story about THE leader at P&G who defined “bold” in the phrase bold leader. This is her story. […]

Charlotte Otto Interview: Lessons Learned from an Enterprise Organization over 3 Decades (Part 1)

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Charlotte Otto was the person, P&G leadership turned to for communication counsel in times of positive and negative stress. For 20 of her 33 years at the company, she was at the center of communications, working with 5 CEOs and many bold leaders. […]

Pam Moret Interview: Living with the Consequences of Leading

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Pam Moret is by training a lawyer and by experience and her own description, a “problem person.” She is someone who loves “diving into aggressive development and challenging problems. I came out of the womb that way. I prefer living with the consequences of leading.” […]

Deborah Gage Interview: What it Takes to Have a Fearless Approach

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A couple of years ago at a national health care conference, I joined a small breakout group discussion and met Deborah Gage, CEO of Medecision, across the table. I don’t remember much about the discussion, but I know we parted, exchanging business cards, with (at least on my part) a clear desire to talk more and know each other better. […]

John Geisler Interview: 9 Leadership Competencies to Drive Change

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John Geisler, vice president and CIO of Cargill, was a guest 8-10 years ago on an internet radio show my Aveus Partner Linda Ireland and I hosted every week back then. Between that time and today, John has led some of the largest, global change initiatives inside the company. […]

MayKao Hang Interview: How To Covertly Create Change

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Think of change leadership as ‘stealth’ organizing. You know those great experiences when you meet someone for the first time and immediately the conversation feels natural, with common values and principles popping to the forefront in the first few sentences? […]

Dale Klapmeier & Pat Waddick Interview: Positive & Negative Stress Always Come Together

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Positive is good. Negative is bad. Right? For example, positive stress in an organization typically helps drive towards a desired outcome. The challenge is to harness the positive to your advantage. Let’s contrast. […]

Brad Hewitt Interview: Bold Leaders Create Stress

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That headline was one of the last things Brad Hewitt, President and CEO of Thrivent Financial, said to me when we sat down together for a conversation. It came after a fast hour of “Brad-isms” as he dubbed them, and I have to say, this was one fun conversation. […]

How Bold Leaders Use the Information They Gather

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If you’ve been in business for more than a few years, you’ve likely seen your own organization, and probably others, launch ‘research’ that ends up on the shelf. Or someone tries to use research for purposes that were not intended when it was collected – and probably not legitimate to the methodology used – or the findings. You may have faced an executive that wants ‘big data’ because they have read about it. Why and how they will use it, well, they aren’t actually sure, but everyone is doing it!  […]

Pat Donovan Interview: Never Hire a Consultant to Give an Answer

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I’ve known and respected Pat Donovan, CEO of Bremer Bank, for many years – ‘socially’ as they say.  Out my office window I look across a couple of city blocks to the Bremer sign atop their corporate office tower.  One day, seeing that sign, I decided to reach out and ask Pat if he would agree to a visit.  Graciously, he said yes. […]

5 Steps to More Effective Research

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“My clients get paid for making successful decisions. My job is to provide the insights that increase the probabilities that they will make better decisions.”   — Frank Pleticha […]

Unlock Innovation to Drive Profitable Growth

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I wasn’t thinking about driving profitable growth.  I wasn’t thinking about how to unlock innovation.  It was Sunday morning after all.  As I settled down with my New York Times Magazine and my full body dark roast, extra strong coffee, I encountered this headline: “This is your brain on coffee.”  That got my attention and I braced myself for another lecture on the horrors of coffee and caffeine.  I read on only to find, coffee may actually be GOOD for you and GOOD for your brain.  Drink on! […]