Lauren Sullivan is the senior director of marketing at Grandin Road, which sells affordable, designer-inspired home décor for any space. Grandin Road is one of the Qurate Retail Group portfolio brands. Lauren is also a Women in Retail Leadership Circle member! We asked her a series of questions about her career and other subjects so you can get to know her better.
- What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I recently re-read “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown, and it had a significantly different impact on me vs. the first time I read it. It changed the way I approach my relationships and is well worth the time if you’re open and ready to do the corresponding work.
- What’s a tip you have for productively leading a remote or hybrid team?
Productively leading a primarily remote team really evolved over the last two years and will continue to change. Periodically check in with your team and simply ask what’s working and what’s not. It may not be what you think. Ask your leaders to do the same.
- What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
I was afraid to ask for help and thought I needed to figure out all the answers on my own. It’s a mistake I still sometimes make and remind myself l will forever be learning as I lead.
- What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
It’s a challenge to be ahead of “what’s next” when also responding to a rapidly changing normal. Intuition rooted in experience simply must play a role in decision making.
- What’s the best way you motivate team members?
I learned team member motivations are very different by individual, and I often find out the real motivation three or four questions deep. Simply asking, “What does recognition look like to you?” can draw out extremely helpful information.
- What woman inspires you right now and why?
I’m always in awe of the many inspiring women in my family. Professionally, I’m inspired by the strength of a female leader from the very beginning of my career who is still a mentor of mine today. She has always led with integrity, known her value, and reached out to support others.
- What are you looking forward to the most for the industry in 2022?
I look forward to seeing new and exciting innovations that launch because of our current environment. I’m excited to see how consumers shop and live differently as life and restrictions continue to change. We are resilient, and so is our industry.
- What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a job candidate?
I often look for a thoughtful and creative approach to questions and challenges vs. having the perfect answer. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, and therefore agility and curiosity are something I value.
- What’s something that you learned about yourself in the past year?
I thought I was already brave. This past year I learned what that really meant (Brené style!), and where it had been holding me back.
- What’s your favorite podcast?
Hidden Brain is by far my favorite podcast because it tries to uncover why people do what they do.
- What values are most important to you as a leader?
I value an open mindset, diverse thoughts and opinions, integrity, and a strive for “wow!” — not just “ok.”
- What’s the most important thing people should know about you?
This is a tough question! One thing people should know about me is that I will be both your toughest coach and your biggest champion if you’re up for the challenge.
- What’s one habit you adopted while working from home that you’d like to keep with you as you return to the office?
I meditate for 10 minutes after lunch.
- How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
At work I’m a supportive leader who wants more than anything to help my team and our business win.
- What’s your favorite app?
Calm since 2017! Daily meditation has changed my life and is a perfect way to get grounded.
- What do you do to recharge?
I’m a Peloton cycling newbie, and it has quickly become an evening de-stress ritual for me.
- What’s your biggest accomplishment?
Professionally, a huge accomplishment is staying true to my own leadership style and always operating from a place of integrity.
- What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Learn from others while staying true to your own leadership style. Make your own path.
- What gets you up in the morning?
I work so that I can enjoy time with my family, and I’m so fortunate to love what I do. It’s a privilege to work in retail with amazing talent, innovation, and a direct connection to the consumer.
- How would you describe your leadership style?
Collaborative, open, brave
Interested in connecting with women like Lauren Sullivan? Apply today to become a Woman in Retail Leadership Circle member!