Lessons in Leadership

NextUp’s 2022 Executive Forum provided plenty of learnings and takeaways for women in the workplace.
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NextUp recently held its annual Executive Forum conference, where the organization brings together c-suite executives and cutting-edge thinkers for three days of connection, learning and development toward its goal of Advancing All Women in Business. The incredible speakers brought some serious knowledge to the table, from diversity at work to the value of taking risks. The 2022 forum took place Aug. 2-4 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

During the conference, Priscilla Tuan, chief marketing officer and executive leadership team member at Sovos Brands, made the salient point that “maintaining transparency and tapping into our humanity is the only path forward” for business leaders. In the same session, Michael Del Pozzo, president and general manager, Gatorade performance portfolio at PepsiCo Beverages North America, noted that being intentional and modeling how a modern leader leads is key to building strong teams in 2022. Taking walk-and-talks to check in, no matter your level of seniority, and visibly leaving the office to spend time with family normalizes this behavior for staff and encourages authentic leadership. 

Ida Liu, global head of Citi Private Bank, also spoke at the event, introducing attendees to the concept of the “DQ,” or “Decency Quotient.” Liu characterized this as how we show up for each other with kindness and respect, and how we collaborate.

“By being kind, we are able to collaborate better, and this builds our resilience and our grit,” she observed.

Author, speaker and researcher Tamara Myles taught attendees that driving retention through meaningful work is the path forward. “Work is not ornamental to our well-being – it's fundamental,” said Myles, who also pointed out that executives must “keep the 90/10 rule in mind: High-potential employees are 10% of your team, and 90% are an opportunity for development.” 

The closing keynote came from Mike Walsh, CEO of Tomorrow and a noted futurist. To Walsh, “Culture is your organization’s true operating system.” He advised leaders to design a distributed decision-making environment, because highly centralized organizations “will not survive crisis. Autonomy is essential.” 

All in all, it was a jam-packed three days of learning, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have been joined by so many leaders in California this year. If you’re interested in hearing from amazing speakers like this firsthand, NextUp’s next conference, the Leadership Summit, will take place on Oct. 19-21. Visit to learn more. 

NOTE: NextUp (formerly known as the Network of Executive Women) is a learning and leadership community working to bring professional women, allies and corporate partners together to champion gender equity and advance all women in their careers. Currently, NextUp represents 14,000 members and 300+ regional and corporate sponsors. Learn more at