Thought-provoking interviews on courageous leadership in times of accelerating change.

How do leaders build a culture grounded in purpose and poised to succeed? How do you galvanize an organization to transform as needs demand? Our latest interviews for the acclaimed Let Go & Lead series delve into the challenges and opportunities of leadership today and feature insights from top business executives. In addition to our DePaul University program, Let Go & Lead has partnered with Georgetown University’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications Graduate Program to develop the next generation of business leaders. Special thanks to Prof. Judith Muhlberg and the interviewees for a stellar series.

It’s October 31, 2017 in Dallas, at Southwest Airlines headquarters. Employees are waiting for the chief executive to arrive. Gary Kelly, the fifth CEO in Southwest’s history, has been preparing for this encounter for hours... and arrives dressed as Thor. 
Gary Kelly
Gary Kelly Chief Executive Officer
Southwest Airlines
A leader is a leader. There are certain things that are foundational for any leader to be respected by their peers, superiors and subordinates. The one quality I would put first is integrity. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, you need to do the right thing even when nobody's looking.
Maureen Cragin
Maureen Cragin VP, Communications
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
My early career was like an “on-the-job MBA,” because I was given the opportunity to shoulder business responsibilities, not just communications responsibilities. I walked factory floors in my steel-toed boots, developed marketing plans for specialty agricultural products, saw how an innovation pipeline worked, and answered tough questions from analysts on business performance.  
Kelly McGrail
Kelly McGrail VP, Strategic Business Communications
Mars, Incorporated
With so much uncertainty and ambiguity today, Mauer stresses the importance of giving the tools people need to get to where they need to go and that “you must have guts and courage to be a leader and a trusted advisor.”
Jennifer Mauer
Jennifer Mauer VP, Enterprise Transformation & Change Strategic Communications
Bristol-Myers Squibb
With today’s current political and social climate, we have seen leaders who regularly avoid answering direct questions, fail to back up claims with facts, and, in some instances, downright lie. In a culture where dishonesty is just part of doing business, how do communications professionals maintain their authenticity, honesty, and values? Kathryn Beiser’s answer: “You just do.”
Kathy Beiser
Kathy Beiser Chief Communications Officer
Kaiser Permanente
Tripp’s career is marked by her unique ability to command a seat in executive leadership positions for male-dominated fields that include engineering and energy. She identified three key philosophies for her success: accountability, preparedness and trust.  
Karen Tripp
Karen Tripp VP of Communications and Public Affairs
ENVIVA
Monroe leads by communicating straightforward, ambitious goals and executing them flawlessly. She believes that unified efforts toward a goal start by communicating a shared vision—what she calls “the castle on the hill.”
Courteney Monroe
Courteney Monroe Chief Executive Officer
National Geographic Global Networks
As with the quote widely attributed to G.B. Shaw, “The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Alper believes many times problems arise because companies think they are communicating when they are not, and the most critical component of communication is listening. 
Keith Alper
Keith Alper CEO
CPG Agency
In a phone interview, Gary Sheffer observed that CEOs today can no longer succeed simply by being an operations expert or driving the highest profit margins. Now they must also have clearly defined values that they are willing to defend publicly. They also need to acknowledge that corporate culture no longer “trickles down” from the top – it must be shared by influencers at every level of a firm.
Gary Sheffer
Gary Sheffer Former VP of Communications & Public Affairs
General Electric