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Be in the Arena and Live it Every Day (More Tips from Doug Conant)

Today, I published Part 2 of my Lead Positive Profile of Doug Conant, Founder & CEO of ConantLeadership. Doug is also a New York Times bestselling author, the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, Chairman of Avon Products and Chairman of The Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute.

In the profile, Doug shares how he learned to communicate effectively as an introvert and the positive ways he has dealt with harsh criticism. What would you do if your boss’ boss told you it’s time to look for a new job? Doug took it as an opportunity to work harder.

Below are some of the most inspiring quotes from part 2 of Doug’s interview. For the full read, please go to my blog on Psychology Today.

On being an introvert

“If you seeing me standing off at an event by myself your tendency might be to say, ‘Well, there’s a CEO. He’s being aloof.’

“But the real reason is I’m shy and I don’t know people. So I encourage people to come up to me and ask, ‘Doug, are you being shy and reserved again?’ And I’ll say yes, and then we’ll start talking.”

On the value of hard work

 “A lot of moving forward is applying oneself and hard work—bringing a work ethic that is second to none to what you do.”

On the leaders he admires most

“I delight in the people who are in the arena and who are living it every day. [Teddy Roosevelt’s] famous quote is:

‘Whose faces are marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strive valiantly.’

In all my reading, that notion has inspired me more than anything else.”


To read Doug Conant’s entire interview (part 1 and part 2), please visit my blog on Psychology Today. You can also follow Doug on Twitter @dougconant.


Dr. Kathy Cramer

Kathryn D. Cramer, PH.D.
Founder and Managing Partner, The Cramer Institute