Event Recap: C-Suite Meet w/ Sadira Furlow, VP, Marketing Potato Chip & Value Brands at Frito Lay, North America
By She Runs It
Written by: Emmalee Kohlhoff
Full video here.
On May 30, 2019, She Runs It members had the pleasure of hearing from Sadira Furlow, VP, Marketing Potato Chip & Value Brands at Frito Lay, North America. She spoke to the audience about the “aha” moments in her career thus far, as well as touched on some of the 14 tenets of leadership she’s learned and follows. Nikki Buchanan, head of Pandora’s African American Multicultural vertical and RSM for Multicultural sales on the West Coast (as well as an important member of Sadira’s personal board of directors), joined Sadira to moderate the discussion.
What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.
Growing up in Oak Park, IL, and being biracial, Sadira learned from a young age that she’d have to decide what side she wanted to be on, the right side or the popular. She’s always marched to her own beat and asked a lot of questions, which ultimately carried her through her career. While it might be more comfortable to go with the crowd, it’s important to think differently, be brave, and find your own voice. The sooner you can learn your own compass, the sooner you can hold steady when popular opinion may go a different way.
You promote what you permit.
You may not realize that you are giving permission to ideas and actions by choosing not to address them. That can range from standing up against an idea you strongly disagree with to allowing colleagues and team members to show up unprepared, to setting personal boundaries, like not responding to emails when on vacation. If you permit an action, you are promoting it.
Never give the best of you to those that you love the least.
One of the hardest lessons Sadira said she’s learned was that it was her own responsibility to set boundaries. No one tells you early in your career that you can set boundaries and that you should. You get one shot at life, and she noted that she wants life to get the best Sadira possible.
Sadira encouraged the audience to “protect your magic and trust your dopeness.” She reflected on times where she wondered if her career acceleration was a mistake or undeserved, but she learned to embrace the idea that no one could be Sadira better than Sadira, and she deserved to be where she was. If you don’t have “earplugs” in life, people will chip away at you. Stay focused, run YOUR race, and you will get to your finish line.
Sadira’s 14 Tenets of Leadership
- What is popular is not always right.
- You promote what you permit.
- Add value, do no harm.
- Relationships. Reputation.
- Always be curious.
- Proximity breeds empathy.
- Make a deposit before a withdrawal.
- Never give the best of you to those/the thing that loves you least.
- Always have an exit strategy.
- Know the business of business bias, how money is made and who makes money off of you.
- Find the treasure in the trial.
- Butterflies can make you giddy and nauseous…and say yes.
- Buy earplugs.