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Sally Grimes Quotes

Sally Grimes

Sally Grimes quotes: insights from the Clif Bar CEO.

“‘You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.’ This Dr. Seuss line from Oh the Places You’ll Go! is a good reminder that life is more about how we choose to respond and lead, and less about what happens to us.”

“Purpose is the greatest motivator: I have learned that people are motivated so much more by purpose than just profit. Clearly articulating ‘why we exist’—in creative ways, multiple times—goes such a long way in bringing out the best in people, and that brings out the best in business.”

“Transformation never ends. When it comes to transforming a brand or a company, it’s always important to set measurable and meaningful goals. I have learned however, that as soon as the light bulb goes off, or as soon as you reach that goal, or [are] about to reach it, a new challenge quickly emerges. You must always be looking around the corner and asking, ‘What’s next?'”

“Pressure can be positive. Failure is a part of business, and I’ve learned that mistakes are okay if you are transparent and apply the lessons to drive future results. Humility is the freedom for learning, humility is not the opposite of confidence. The pressure that seems to intensify as you rise can be a motivator.”

“Attitude is everything, and it is okay to fake it when you don’t feel it. I’ve actually quoted Henry Ford to my kids multiple times when he said, ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.’ Plenty of people have told me that attitude is everything. But no one told me that sometimes you have to force yourself to believe—even if you have to fake it until you feel it. Positive outlooks are a habit, not an accident.”

“When you feel uncertain, you are on the verge of something great. Greatness comes from a leap of faith, not from complete and utter certainty. Because if you are 100% certain, you probably aren’t being very bold.”

“Even if the product is a failure, we learn something. We celebrate failing forward.”

“Quality is queen; concern for quality creates pride within an organization. Whether you work for a startup or a well-established brand, quality is what’s going to keep your customers coming back. Also, concern for quality creates pride within an organization and everyone shares in its success.”

“I put the ‘three P’s’ philosophy into play every day: People first. Be Positive. Be Proactive.”

“Business leaders need to help their employees to thrive by leadership transparency. So often leaders work to craft an image of perfection: they don’t want to let their teams see them make a mistake or acknowledge a shortcoming. I haven’t found that to be sustainable leadership model; if you want your team to be bold, they can’t be afraid to fail.”

“I believe that first and foremost we must model the behavior we want to see in our teams and just be real. When I don’t know the answer, I am quick to admit it. And when we fail, the important thing is what we’ve learned, and how that will set us up to succeed the next time.”

“As leaders, we also need to recognize that sometimes we are the problem, and take steps to change it.”

“Growth is coming from small brands, startup companies that are doing things differently.”

“My first job was in fifth grade when I went door-to-door convincing friends and neighbors to buy my handmade greeting cards. My father was supportive, but also very traditional and conservative, and as I got older, he said, ‘I’m not sure art should be your career path of choice.’ I had a passion for the creative arts, yet my parents steered me in the direction of a more ‘stable’ career path in finance, followed by an MBA from the University of Chicago.”

“There’s a career out there where I can be creative but also leverage my analytical foundation—where I could run my own business but with the resources of a big company. So, from my little entrepreneurial card company, suddenly I realized I could build something big.”

“I learned early on that if you follow the consumer, it’s hard to go wrong. We start with the trends and just narrow it down to unmet or latent needs. Innovation can be as simple as: Do they want it? Can we make it? And can we make money at it?”

“Keep it simple and move fast.”

“I love creating. I love innovation because you are building a business and building a brand.”

“I get to wear many hats. Mother, wife, leader, innovator… but it all started by being the daughter of immigrants who came to America for their education and ended up together through an arranged marriage. What does that have to do with my approach to leadership? My parents sought out opportunities and were not afraid to do something bold to go after it. And they taught me about the importance of relationships of all kinds, and that they require work. I believe leadership is fundamentally about people and relationships. It’s where my story starts and is what it’s about today.”

“My immigrant parents taught me the power of empathy early on by always having an open door to help and bring out the best in others. It was just a way of life growing up, and having this platform with the scale to expand that reach is incredibly meaningful.”

“As the mom of two teenagers, and a husband who is the CEO of a public company, I’m incredibly grateful to my husband. We’ve been in it together for 23 years and despite his own work intensity, he has always supported my passions and is all-in for our family every day. He’s my role model for ‘family first.'”

“The food industry is more dynamic than ever before as consumers’ expectations change—what they value in food and how it fits into their lives is evolving—and even where and how they purchase and consume food is changing.”

“One of the great things about being in the food business is that you literally bring goodness through nourishment to the world every day.”

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