Crocs Chief Operating and Transformation Officer, Elaine Boltz on Leading Systems and Managing Risk During a Crisis

by | Jun 15, 2022 | Podcast, Workplace Forward


Imagine taking on a new leadership role overseeing the supply chain at a global brand for the first time in your career.

Now imagine that your first week in this new role is the same week that North America and the EU shut down in response to the pandemic.

With more than a decade of experience leading retail, omnichannel and online businesses, Elain Boltz took on the role of Chief Operating and Transformation Officer at Crocs in March 2020.

Prior to joining Crocs, Elaine served as President of TJX Digital, SVP and General Manager of the Direct-to-Consumer Division at Chico’s FAS and Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Ann, Inc.

On this episode of Workplace Forward, Elaine joins me to discuss what she’s learned about managing risk in a crisis and describe how she’s grown in her ability to lead across systems in the last two years.

Elaine explains how to engage teams and build trust in the absence of the proverbial water cooler and explores how the unusual shifts in her career prepared her to lead through a pandemic.

Listen in for Elaine’s insight on the come-as-you-are corporate culture at Crocs and learn how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, build your confidence and lead well during a crisis.

Themes explored in this week’s episode:

  • How Elaine’s leadership has evolved to create emotional safety in times of uncertainty and see the opportunity in difficult moments
  • What it looks like to engage teams and build trust in the absence of the proverbial water cooler
  • The willingness to admit you don’t know and why it’s a strength in leadership teams
  • How Elaine’s skills in managing risk and leading systems have developed in the last 2 years
  • How Crocs’ cross-functional, systemic lens contributes to the company’s success
  • How the unusual shifts in Elaine’s career helped prepare her to lead through the pandemic
  • Why taking on assignments where you don’t know what you’re doing builds confidence and develops muscles for dealing with uncertainty
  • The come-as-you-are corporate culture at Crocs and what it looks like in practice
  • The flexibility employees are asking for as they work in an atmosphere of uncertainty
  • Why leaders of the future must be comfortable with being uncomfortable

Resources from this episode: 

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