EP. 20 Succeeding In A Man’s World, Leadership Lessons From Leanne Caret, One Of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women

Leanne Caret is a Retired Executive Vice President, The Boeing Company and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space and Security. Leanne is a major force in global business. In 2021, Fortune Magazine named Leanne to its Most Powerful Women list for the fifth consecutive year.  In addition to being a 2019 inductee of the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Leanne is a Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow and an Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow.

LEANNE’S 4G Leadership Philosophy

Leanne didn’t dream of taking to the skies in a spaceship as a child but it’s undeniable that aerospace is in her blood. Three decades ago, her parents worked on the Apollo mission; today Leanne and her team worked on Artemis, the sister rocket to Apollo which will place the first female on the moon in a new era of human space exploration.  

Having spent her whole career at Boeing, Leanne’s philosophy around leadership has been shaped by the company. She has developed her own unique framework for success founded on four guiding principles: 


Grit is important says, Leanne. “You must have a willingness to do the hard work, no matter how high you rise in your organisation or career.” She notes that while it may be common to think that as you become more senior you have paid your dues, it’s important that you’re still willing to roll up your sleeves, make sure you’re doing a good job and not asking others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.


Gumption and believing in yourself is also important. “It’s about taking a chance on yourself. Every day we have an opportunity to have a good day,” Leanne shares. There is more to success and being a great leader than simply showing up and believing, however.  


“Grace is the biggest gift my mom gave me” she shares. “How you win is as important as how you lose. None of us are going to have perfect lives or perfect days. Having the ability to show a little kindness, assume good intent, give yourself a break. Every day we get an opportunity to do it over.” 


For Leanne, gratitude is a simple thing, but saying thank you can make all the difference. “You can tell how good a leader really is by how they are in a restaurant and how they treat staff.” 

Whether things are going well or going wrong, this formula is something that Leanne has stuck to and has served her well. “I think you have to have all of them. You must be driven. Work hard. Focus on doing a good job. But you need to have empathy and be part of a community because nobody’s success is singularly your own.”   


Listen to the full episode and dive deeper into Leanne’s career and the other lessons she’s learned in her leadership journey.

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About Griselda Togobo:

She is also a multi-faceted entrepreneur, engineer, and chartered accountant. Her experience as a black woman in the corporate world drives her to help progressive global companies create inclusive workplaces. She works directly with CEOs and business leaders to embed a culture of inclusion at the heart of their talent strategy.  She is a respected and impactful speaker and is known for her high energy and engaging style. Griselda offers a fresh perspective and approach to developing leaders https://www.wearenovi.com/about/griselda-togobo/.

Griselda is passionate about supporting female leaders through the professional women’s network wearenovi.com.

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