Leading in Complex Times Focus of Leadership Conference

2019 Geno Auriemma Leadership Conference
(Image Courtesy of UConn School of Business)

Provocative business topics, an outstanding line-up of speakers, and a new location are among the highlights of this fall’s Geno Auriemma UConn Leadership Conference.

This year’s conference theme is “Leading in Complex, Uncertain, and Ambiguous Times.” The two-day event, Oct. 2-3 in Stamford, Conn., is Connecticut’s only conference where successful managers learn directly from seasoned top executives.

The conference will take place at both the Stamford Sheraton and Chelsea Piers Connecticut sports complex. For the fourth time Virtus Investment Partners has signed on as the presenting sponsor.

“As the business environments becomes more complex and uncertain, leaders face new and different challenges that require new skills and different approaches. The Conference is designed to address the important challenges that leaders face with the combination of sage advice from top executives and academic insight from research,” said Professor Lucy Gilson, the head of the Management Department at the University of Connecticut.

Speakers will discuss topics ranging from developing capabilities to adapt and thrive, to authentic messaging, and the role of big data in managing uncertainty. Fostering a sustainable organization and what are the capabilities that leaders need to embrace in today’s rapidly changing business climate will also be addressed.

Some speakers included in the lineup are:

• iHeart Media senior vice president and CFO Jon Pedersen
• YouTube global head Elizabeth James
• WWE co-President George Barrios
• Stanley Black & Decker CEO Lee McChesney
• President ISRS & UTC Aerospace Systems Gail Baker
• Finn Partners Managing Partner Alicia Young
• Former LA Lakers CFO Patrick Harris
• Lego Group-Americas SVP Skip Kodak
• Washington DC Restauranteur and Entrepreneur Chef Geoff
• Former FBI Head of Cyber Security Jim Trainor
• Priceline SVP of Brand and Digital Marketing Ben Harrell
• ESPN SVP of Production Tina Thornton

“This conference is designed for successful managers who are transitioning into greater leadership roles,” Gilson said. “Our goal is to help them as they face new challenges, opportunities and give them the chance to learn from experienced leaders. Past participants continue to tell us how they found their network, a new mentor, or adviser at the conference and it’s a big reason people keep coming back. It is two days of leadership-building at its best.”

“The global landscape changes daily and businesses must as well. We will ask, ‘How can we learn from people who’ve survived and thrived with these challenges?'” Gilson said. “How do you balance short- and long-term perspectives, such as the financial obligations of today and pressures to move and stay ahead of the game?”

YouTube’s James will lead a discussion on complexity in the workplace. “At YouTube, I aim to always peal back the layers of complexity. The more information someone has can lead to a better, more straightforward solution. Our mission statement is ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.'” she said.

“In dealing with complexity internally, it is not solely about predicting the future at YouTube, it is about building the capacity in my organization and my team to maximize every opportunity that crosses our path,” she said. “We have to foster an environment that is psychologically safe, where each individual Googler has avenues to not only grow but to be rewarded and recognized for their hard work, and where I can broadcast these wins from the top. An environment that is set up and managed properly will lead to better employee retention and innovation.”

The conference is the brainchild of UConn Head Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, who has led UConn to 11 NCAA Division 1 national championships, the most in women’s college basketball history and won eight national Naismith College Coach of the Year awards. He was also the head coach of the U.S. women’s national basketball team from 2009 to 2016.

During the conference, Auriemma shares some of his strategies for success and offers advice for mentoring younger employees.

The sold-out conferences have a long history of prominent speakers including: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey, GMA anchor Robin Roberts, Nike president Charlie Denson and former president and CEO of Walmart U.S. Bill Simon.

“I had the pleasure of attending the first Geno Auriemma UConn Leadership Conference and look forward to returning this year as a panelist,” said Alicia Young, managing partner at Finn Partners, a top public relations/marketing communications firm based in New York City. Today’s business climate is ultra-competitive and leaders need to continuously refresh their knowledge, she said.

“Throughout my career, I’ve helped companies of all sizes and industries establish or maintain a leadership position through effective reputation management,” she said. “Today, brands face enormous challenges – to be authentic; to react; to connect; and sometimes, to recover from missteps in our dynamic and complex environment.”

Conference agenda and registration details forthcoming. For up-to-date conference information, please visit www.genoleads.com.