Gabrielle Grazi is the vice president of retail strategy and partnerships at Natural Diamond Council, the authority and resource on natural diamonds for consumers and the jewelry industry. She is also a Women in Retail Leadership Circle member! We asked Gabrielle a series of questions about her career and other subjects so you can get to know her better.

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
    Gen Z 360:Preparing for the Inevitable Change in Culture, Work and Commerce” by Hana Ben-Shabat
  2. What’s a tip you have for productively leading a remote or hybrid team?
    Focus on the outcome, not the process. Allow the team freedom and responsibility to manage workloads. Stay connected, whether by phone, text, or Microsoft Teams. Every touchpoint doesn’t have to be a Zoom meeting.
  3. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
    I’m certain I’ve made many over the last 30 years, however, I move past things quickly, live with no regrets, and I NEVER make the same mistake twice.
  4. What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
    I’m an Aries, so I was born to be in charge. Leadership is a HUGE responsibility and has so many demands, especially over the last 18 months. As leaders, we’ve been charged with attempting to make sense of this collective experience during the pandemic and assist team members in navigating the complexity of the environment.
  5. What’s the best way you motivate team members?
    A leader’s role is to engage, inspire and influence. I believe a leader has the ability to positively impact behaviors to drive desired outcomes and support team members achieving their goals. Motivation is internal.
  6. What woman inspires you right now and why?
    My 17-year-old daughter, Loretta, who is in her senior year of high school and preparing to go to college in the fall. She has handled the last two years of the pandemic with grace, maturity and humor. Life for her is all about possibilities. I look forward to watching her embrace the future and follow her dreams. She’s my greatest contribution.
  7. What are you looking forward to the most for the industry in 2022?
    Retail is in the midst of a major transformation. Expansion and contraction is happening simultaneously. I’m looking forward to witnessing the evolution over the next three years.
  8. What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a job candidate?
    Emotional intelligence
  9. What’s something that you learned about yourself in the past year?
    I’m much better dealing with ambiguity then I’ve ever given myself credit for.
  10. What’s your favorite podcast?
    Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work
  11. What values are most important to you as a leader?
    Accountability, collaboration, empathy, integrity
  12. What’s the most important thing people should know about you?
    Never underestimate me. I always find a way to make things happen.
  13. What’s one habit you adopted while working from home that you’d like to keep with you as you return to the office?
    One new habit is wearing track pants and slippers, however, that’s not one that will be returning to the office with me!
  14. How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
    A highly intuitive force to be reckoned with
  15. What’s your favorite app?
    The Pattern. Astrology and psychology all in one.
  16. What do you do to recharge?
    I’m an introvert so I can only be “on” for so many hours in a day before I must seek refuge from the crowd. For me, a good night’s sleep is of critical importance, as are regularly scheduled family vacations that include a beach.
  17. What’s your biggest accomplishment?
    I’ve always found ways to exceed expectations and accomplish big things. I have more than a few years left in the workforce so no doubt I will continue on this track. In terms of my “biggest accomplishment,” we will just have to wait to see what I do next.
  18. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
    Believe in yourself and your abilities, even if at times it appears that no one else does. Naysayers will always be present. Ignore them. Perseverance, resilience and humility are all superpowers. Don’t compete with anyone; run your own race.
  19. What gets you up in the morning?
    Zen, my 120-pound Rottweiler, every day at 6 a.m.
  20. How would you describe your leadership style?
    I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that best describes my leadership style: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast endless sea.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Interested in connecting with women like Gabrielle Grazi? Apply today to become a Woman in Retail Leadership Circle member!