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Women CEOs on making strategy happen

Carol M. Connell (Department of Business Management, Koppelman School of Business – Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, USA)

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 31 May 2019

Issue publication date: 11 July 2019




As a professor of strategic management and as a consultant to organizations on strategy and change, the author focused on the activities that are necessary for leaders to create effective strategy and to execute successfully. The author has also been responsible for equipping the larger teams of strategy professionals (and future strategy professionals) who support these leaders with the approaches, the methods, and the tools necessary to plan effectively, to assess effectiveness, and to correct problems in strategy and execution. Whether long-term company leaders, entrepreneurs, or turnaround companies, chief executive officers (CEOs) understand that strategy and execution are requirements for growth and, ultimately, their unique responsibility. The paper aims to offer a view of strategy and execution from women CEOs of top companies, including those who weathered the financial crisis and others changing their business model as the climate changes. The paper offers a set of questions to help company leadership execute their strategy.


The paper represents a viewpoint supported by secondary sources and financial data.


CEOs whose companies have prospered during the Great Recession and beyond have a lot to teach us about strategic execution in an uncertain world. There is always a crisis or a change in industry structure that threatens strategic execution. This paper focuses on women and how they face this challenge as CEOs of top companies.

Research limitations/implications

Strategic execution must align with strategy or growth will not happen as planned.

Practical implications

There are things CEOs and general managers can do to ensure their strategic execution leads to the results they plan. Those things have been identified in this paper.

Social implications

The most powerful asset companies have is their talent base, their employees.


The corporate examples, the understanding of industry structure change, and the importance of talent and risk are seen through the lens of women CEOs.



Connell, C.M. (2019), "Women CEOs on making strategy happen", Strategic Direction, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 1-4.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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