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Leadership Insight: Cormac Gilligan, vice president at PepsiCo

Published on: 19 Oct 2018


Leadership insight: Cormac Gilligan, vice president at PepsiCo

Cormac Gilligan admits that one of the most important qualities he’s had to develop to be an effective leader is his “soft skills”.

“I find building networks great, connecting with people is a strength to me. And on the flip side of that coin it’s when those networks are not working.”

Collaboration is vital, he adds. Not only does it allow you to influence a business agenda without having control but it also enables you to take others with you while driving an agenda.

“Building relationships … having a network is key. The day you need your network is not the day to start building it.”

One of the biggest challenges is knowing when to have “those tough conversations”. He admits that it is something that he’s had to work hard at and he continues to work at it, both in giving and receiving feedback.

“If you want to develop mastery of something, you have to practice. If I’m about to have a difficult conversation I know that in advance. People don’t usually stumble into tough conversations. But what I do is prepare for them, so I try to understand the context and the intentions of the person I’m having a difficult conversation with but I can also articulate the reason I’m not OK with the approach. Part of practising is preparing.”

Read IOSH Magazine’s full interview with Cormac Gilligan: