2017 Top 100 Under 50 Executive & Emerging Leaders

3950

REGINALD J. MILLER MBA, MS

SENIOR DIRECTOR, GLOBAL INCLUSION & DIVERSITY
VF CORPORATION
WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

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Many corporations are now going through transformations and economic challenges; what leadership challenges are you facing in your organization/company and in your industry?

Since launching our 2021 Global Business Strategy in March 2017, we’ve embarked on a plan to transform our business to be agile, purpose-driven and consumer and
retail-centric, while also continuing to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout our global operations. This effort is no small task, particularly
as we balance the larger, macroeconomic forces at work – the bounds of our industry blurring, consumer behavior changing at a rapid pace, and new business models and
technologies disrupting global retail. But we’re confident that with our new multi-year strategy and our desire to be the employer of choice within the retail industry, we are
positioned for future success.

What experiences in your career best positioned or prepared you for a global leadership role?

Earlier in my career, I served 8 years in the US Army and Army Reserves, spending some of that time deployed in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. I supported
the Army’s supply, logistics and maintenance functions, and worked closely with global suppliers, vendors and peers. One of my assignments was working with the NATO
coalition forces on a variety of projects. This experience taught me how to work collaboratively toward a common goal with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
I regularly rely on those experiences today in my global leadership role at VF.

What type of risks have you taken in your career, and how did they prepare you for the unexpected?

A mentor once shared some advice with me: focus on breath AND depth in developing my career. I took that advice to heart, and made some calculated moves that challenged me in ways that helped me grow and develop during my career. For example, after many years of
working within supply chain and operations, I made a career switch to the field of HR and talent acquisition. I had no recruiting experience, yet I was challenged and tested
in new ways, learning from my peers and colleagues who supported me along the way. This transition ultimately gave me the confidence to bounce between HR and general
manager roles for the following decade. This experience helped me develop into the leader I am today, and also taught me to expect the unexpected and embrace change.

What advice would you offer to developing and emerging leaders to leverage mentoring and coaching relationships?

I am a true believer that each of us is responsible for our own career journey; there is no one, ideal path. Opportunities will often present themselves, and we are responsible for making the best decision. However, one of the key elements of this approach is being mindful of the colleagues who will join you during your journey. Investing in others and their development is equally as important as focusing on your personal upward mobility.
You’ve probably heard the adage, ‘you are only as strong as the team you surround yourself with.’ I couldn’t agree more. I recommend that all emerging leaders mentor
someone throughout their career. Give honest and candid feedback. Encourage them to leverage you as a mentor. These relationships take work, but both you and your mentee will benefit in the long run.