14 episodes

Let’s face it. The stakes are higher today for leaders than ever before. Resilient, transparent leadership is not just needed, but required of all of us as leaders.

Several years ago, I set out to write what would eventually become my book, Gracious and Strong, a story about the very raw and highly rewarding moments of my career as the first female EVP of Walmart, Inc.

Fast forward to today. I’ve had the pleasure of working with and coaching thousands of leaders.

I’ll share with you what it means to lead with a “gracious and strong” mindset and will share not only the personal stories and case studies from my own Fortune 1 career, but also those of other Fortune 500 leaders who have faced — and overcome — leadership obstacles. My hope is to empower you to become not just a great leader — but a “whole” leader — in both work and life.

Subscribe to the Gracious & Strong podcast to receive real-time updates for new episodes.

Gracious & Strong Celia Swanson

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 7 Ratings

Let’s face it. The stakes are higher today for leaders than ever before. Resilient, transparent leadership is not just needed, but required of all of us as leaders.

Several years ago, I set out to write what would eventually become my book, Gracious and Strong, a story about the very raw and highly rewarding moments of my career as the first female EVP of Walmart, Inc.

Fast forward to today. I’ve had the pleasure of working with and coaching thousands of leaders.

I’ll share with you what it means to lead with a “gracious and strong” mindset and will share not only the personal stories and case studies from my own Fortune 1 career, but also those of other Fortune 500 leaders who have faced — and overcome — leadership obstacles. My hope is to empower you to become not just a great leader — but a “whole” leader — in both work and life.

Subscribe to the Gracious & Strong podcast to receive real-time updates for new episodes.

    How Do You Define Giving?

    How Do You Define Giving?

    How do you define giving? It’s that time of year when we’re all focused on giving – holiday gift-giving, charitable donations, or even giving of your time to serve an organization that is meaningful to you. This season makes us feel more connected to one another. And if you’re like me, you’ve realized that COVID has also caused us to reprioritize and place focus on what matters to us most.
    Today on the Gracious & Strong Podcast, I am addressing this important topic about Giving Strategy. The act of giving can feel overwhelming with so many opportunities to give and serve, and it takes time to determine where and how to plug in and feel connected in a way that feels right to you and makes the most impact to those in need.
    Listen in today to Episode 13 as I share a formula for finding the right cause and getting started! I’m sharing 6 steps that will help you start creating your giving journey, as you think about how you can leave a legacy with organizations that matter to you most.

    • 27 min
    Part 2: Interview with Ann Bordelon of the University of Arkansas

    Part 2: Interview with Ann Bordelon of the University of Arkansas

    I’m thrilled to share that Part Two of my conversation with Ann Bordelon is now live. Ann is a long-time colleague and friend, and she currently serves as Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration at the University of Arkansas. 
    In our interview, Ann opens up about her personal story and how she’s found great success on her CFO journey navigating various roles and organizations, complex situations, and different industries. Throughout her journey she has made significant impact through her influence in organizations including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Ernst & Young, Mitchell, and ultimately, her alma mater - the University of Arkansas.
    In today’s episode, she shares her perspective on:
    how important alignment and collaboration is within an organization - and tips on creating great alignment at all levels the concept of managerial courage as a key leadership competency developing the next generation of leaders through broadening experiences and championing intentional representation It was a true pleasure to have her join me for this two-part series. If you happened to miss Part 1, listen here. Thanks to Ann for joining me for this important conversation. 

    • 34 min
    Part 1: How to Lead with Curiosity, Clarity & Community with UA’s Ann Bordelon

    Part 1: How to Lead with Curiosity, Clarity & Community with UA’s Ann Bordelon

    Today kicks off the Part One of an interview with a person I consider one of the most confident, candid and smart leaders I know.
    Ann Bordelon is currently the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at the University of Arkansas - an ideal leadership role she has achieved following a track record of significantly impacting organizations large and small - both stateside and internationally. 
    The best thing about my conversation with Ann is the candor and realness she shared. She is as straightforward and as authentic of a leader as any business could dream of - and she's the first to roll up her sleeves and dive into learning a new business in order to improve organizational health. 
    Ann joins me today to talk about her journey through numerous financial roles leading to her success and impact as a CFO. Her career began as auditor in Little Rock before moving to Northwest Arkansas where she has served in roles at Walmart Inc (CFO of Sam's Club, CFO of Walmart Asia, and SVP of Finance & Strategy for Walmart US), stops at a variety of organizations along the way including Tyson Foods, Mitchell and even a startup company - a career that catapulted when she realized her ability to impact results through her breadth of vision, perspective and influence as a senior leader.
    This interview was full of a-ha moments for me and I hope you'll find a few inspiring takeaways, as well. 
    More specifically, Ann shares:
    the formula she uses for learning a business and how that curiosity has served her through financial roles in a wide range of industries some of the most pivotal moments of her career - particularly an unexpected one that changed her leadership story as she knew it her wisdom about the importance of clarity and how that impacts a team or leader’s success her commitment to building relationships at every level of a company Join us for Part 1 of our conversation today. I know you’ll enjoy hearing Ann's story as much as I enjoyed visiting with her. Hope you can join us for Part 2 next time.

    • 25 min
    The Greatest Impact You Can Bring & Lead For Your Team

    The Greatest Impact You Can Bring & Lead For Your Team

    What’s the one thing you prioritize most in your leadership role? If it’s not talent strategy, it should be!
    Leaders today are experiencing a war for talent - and retaining the right talent. And particularly in the HR/People space, talent and hiring decisions will always reflect on you, which is why I actually consider it the most critical responsibility for a leader. It’s the most important asset you can have as an individual, leader and organization and finding the right talent should be the core goal as we’re defined by the quality, success and growth of the talent we attract.
    I’ve thought about what I would change about my early leadership skills and priorities, if I could do it all over again. So today, I’m sharing those tips and stories about being a talent contributor instead of a talent user, including: 
    How you can distinguish yourself as the right talent Principles for staying relevant in a world of vast change Leadership competencies to keep in mind as you navigate the current talent war - no matter which side you’re on. Over the next few months, I’ll be introducing you to a few of the most talented leaders I’ve had the privilege to know and learn from. I’d love to hear from you about where you are on your talent journey. Hope you'll join me for this episode!

    • 23 min
    What's Your Personal Mission Statement?

    What's Your Personal Mission Statement?

    How can leaders go from being successful to significant? Today on the Gracious & Stong podcast, we’re covering a topic that can be a real game-changer for you -- creating a personal mission statement. For me, a mission statement has been my North Star in both my professional and personal life, keeping me on track throughout the peaks and unexpected left turns. I’m confident having your own version can do the same for you.
    In this episode, we’ll cover four steps to forming and living out your mission statement. 
    You’ll discover: 
    The 7 Fs of the value system and which ones are most important to you Your “why” and what it means for your present and future The secret formula to writing your own mission statement How to take action on your statement  I hope this inspires you to create or reevaluate a mission statement that is noble and worthy of your leadership journey. 

    • 29 min
    Overcoming Self-Limiting Beliefs Through Faith

    Overcoming Self-Limiting Beliefs Through Faith

    What are the things that are holding you back as a leader? The concept of fear is very real and can be paralyzing, but courage is key when it comes to individuals understanding themselves - understanding their gifts, standing up for their beliefs, using their voice, and adapting in the face of adversity. 
    I was invited to speak at last week’s Women in the Marketplace Connect event as we discussed the topic of overcoming self-limiting beliefs by leaning into our faith. This organization equips women to confidently grow in their faith and career by investing in faith-based resources, creating fellowship and impacting communities.
    In this episode, we’ll cover: 
    What it means to lead in both your faith and your work Understanding your belief windows (limiters vs. catalysts) and techniques to face them head-on Focusing on your relationship with God and using the gifts you’ve been given by Him to the fullest Leading for YOU and no one else (not even your boss) I even share a story about the time I was ‘taken out to the trash cans’ by my boss I’d love to have you join me on the podcast this week. No matter where you stand in your faith journey, I hope this encourages and inspires you to challenge any fears or limiting beliefs you may face and use them as catalysts - not limiters - to help you realize the authentic and resilient leader within you.
    If you’re interested in learning more about Women in the Marketplace, you can visit www.womeninmarketplace.net. 

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

markalta ,

Looking Forward to More Episodes

Subscribed and going to be great to supplement Gracious and Strong. We all need bright lines and Celia is just the leader to help you define and improve your leadership skills.

kjjgtfd ,

Heart, Mind, Respect

Celia keeps it real with her advice and shared experiences. While I feel like it is a great time of uncertainty, there is no better time to learn from other leaders. Celia is certainly a good one to learn from. Thank you Celia for your advice. I look forward to future podcasts.

grhgsl ,

Excited!

Looking forward to listen to this podcast, great leader, fantastic book, can’t wait!