About this Class
After years of helming the ship at some of the country’s most iconic companies, including Walmart, Starbucks, and Walgreens, Rosalind Brewer has forged ahead in her quest to innovate while maintaining deep integrity. Now she’s sharing CEO-level strategies for team leaders of all types. Learn to promote innovation, gain buy-in on projects you believe in, and stand out as the leader you know yourself to be.
Browse Lesson Plan
1. Meet Your Instructor
– The first question you might ask yourself is, where do you innovate within your company? Are we keeping our businesses out in front of the changes that are happening in the marketplace? How are we going to be the company of the future and really see the consistent performance that the company is really capable of, if we’re not thinking about what’s next after what’s next? I’m Rosalind Brewer, and most people, when they talk about me, I hear them mention words like.
– World class.
– A dynamic businesswoman.
– One of the most accomplished business leaders.
– One of the most powerful women in the world.
– I’ve heard many descriptions of myself, but what I’m most proud of is my ability to lead big decisions and make change happen. I really pride myself on actually being pretty fearless. I also really admire the opportunity that I am actually running a Dow 30 company. I am the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, and there are not a lot of women in this space. But I will tell you, that if I had it my way, it’ll change.
Women persevere. I do a lot of mentoring. I spend time with a lot of young people to help them understand what this road could look like ahead for them, and to encourage them to stay engaged. Hopefully, I’m an example. Hopefully, I showed them the possibilities.
I’ve had great opportunities in my career. I started off as a research scientist in a company called Kimberly-Clark, which is Huggies Diapers, Kleenex Tissues. There, I knew I could be a transformative leader when I revitalized an underperforming unit and grew sales by more than 30%. I left there to join retail with Walmart stores, and eventually became a business leader.
I became one of their leaders for half of the stores across the United States for Walmart stores. And then I was elected the CEO of Sam’s Club. I left there and joined Starbucks as, actually, a member of their board of directors. And after about four months, I was asked to come in and be chief operating officer for Starbucks Coffee Company.
And I stayed there for four years until the pandemic hit and an opportunity was presented to me to join Walgreens Boots Alliance, an integrated health care pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients each day. And that organization was in the middle of administering vaccines and getting shots in arms all across the world. And I really wanted to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.
When I think about what gives me strength, energy, confidence every day, it’s a combination of being born and raised in a family of blue collar workers. I’m the youngest of five children. I grew up in Detroit near the auto industry. My parents worked in the auto industry. And all I ever saw was hard work.
I feel like I was given such a good groun…
2. How to Build an Innovation Strategy
The only constant is change. Roz provides a look into her decision-making process when she transformed Walgreens from a retail store into a healthcare company. She highlights the ongoing impact for the company’s employees and community.