Author Archives

Aileen Gronewold

ICYMI: The Way We Lead — An In-Depth Look at Leggett & Platt Culture

Since the Life @ Leggett blog is approaching its one-year anniversary so this week’s posts will spotlight our favorite content from the past year. Up today: the DNA of a Leggett employee. (*ICYMI is internet slang for “in case you missed it.”) 

The Way We Lead cover image with Icon

Families display certain common traits and behaviors, generation after generation, that have nothing to do with genetics. These non-genetic markers are passed down through shared perceptions, beliefs, and actions, as surely as hazel eyes and curly hair. The same is true for companies.

At Leggett & Platt, we recently set out to revise the competencies in our annual performance review, and accidentally found ourselves deconstructing our corporate DNA. We started the project with 15 competencies – things like strategic thinking, decision making, interpersonal skills, and communication. Instead of simply trying to whack a few that seemed less important, we started with a clean sheet of paper and our company history book. Looking back over 130 years, our leaders displayed certain common qualities, no matter what the business challenge of the era. When we distilled this “Leggett DNA,” we found eight key qualities that drive our collective success. Eureka! These characteristics, expressed as actions, reflect our culture and the way we lead.

A member of the Leggett team: Continue reading

Career Confidence: Build Your Career Capital to Set Yourself Apart

Build Career Capital - Blog Title

This is part two of a series offering practical tips to help you chart your career course with confidence – view the entire series

It’s no mystery there are fewer opportunities the higher you advance in an organization. Politics aside, the people who get those positions have usually been successful at growing their value over time. Whether you aspire to an executive position or have a more modest career target in mind, you’ll likely compete with others for those positions.

In this article, we’ll explore practical tips to help you build career capital. Invest in these four areas – reputation, connections, knowledge, and experience – and you will differentiate yourself from your peers, increase your capabilities, and position yourself well for a promotion.

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Career Confidence: Say Goodbye to Cinderella Thinking

Cindy Wonderstruck - LinkedIn Cover - 180x110Note: This is the first installment of a two-part series offering practical tips on how to chart your career course with confidence. Follow us for updates:


In a recent poll, we asked participants in a workshop entitled “Career Confidence” to identify their biggest obstacles to career growth. The number one response? Lack of opportunity.

Since my role in Talent Management gives me a chance to chat with employees about their career paths, I often hear about this obstacle. Certainly, higher level positions are scarcer than entry level positions, and it sure doesn’t hurt to be in the right place at the right time. But could some of the perceived lack of opportunity be caused by Cinderella thinking? You be the judge. Here are three examples of Cinderella thinking I’ve encountered:

Waiting to be developed.

Cindy Transformed - Low Res

You know in your heart of hearts that you’ve got the goods. You’re smart, you’re passionate, and doggone it, you have great ideas. Where is that fairy godmother to turn all this budding potential into stunning realization?

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Deconstructing Leggett’s DNA: The Way We Lead

The Way We Lead cover image with Icon

Families display certain common traits and behaviors, generation after generation, that have nothing to do with genetics. These non-genetic markers are passed down through shared perceptions, beliefs, and actions, as surely as hazel eyes and curly hair. The same is true for companies.

At Leggett & Platt, we recently set out to revise the competencies in our annual performance review, and accidentally found ourselves deconstructing our corporate DNA. We started the project with 15 competencies – things like strategic thinking, decision making, interpersonal skills, and communication. Instead of simply trying to whack a few that seemed less important, we started with a clean sheet of paper and our company history book. Looking back over 130 years, our leaders displayed certain common qualities, no matter what the business challenge of the era. When we distilled this “Leggett DNA,” we found eight key qualities that drive our collective success. Eureka! These characteristics, expressed as actions, reflect our culture and the way we lead.

A member of the Leggett team: Continue reading