Chief Influencer

Johnny C. Taylor serves as the President and CEO of SHRM, a global organization dedicated to advocating for the interests of workers and workplaces. With a membership of 325,000 individuals spanning 165 countries, SHRM is a leading authority and convener on contemporary workplace issues, impacting millions of workers and families worldwide.

At the core of Johnny's leadership philosophy lies a belief in the transformative potential of personal branding and workplace civility. He underscores the importance of authenticity, urging leaders to remain true to themselves across professional and personal spheres. Johnny distinguishes himself as a leader committed to fostering positive influence and meaningful connections by prioritizing trust and civility.

In today’s episode, Johnny shares his approach to embracing change and prioritizing his digital presence. He discusses the challenges of navigating difficult conversations and promoting inclusivity while highlighting the strategic significance of personal branding in cultivating trust and influence. Moreover, Johnny offers insights into modern leadership complexities, advocating for embracing change and exploring the integration of AI in the workforce.

  • The world is evolving rapidly, and leaders must cultivate a mindset that welcomes change as an opportunity for growth and innovation. By practicing adaptability, leaders can navigate challenges and seize new opportunities more effectively.
  • Authenticity is crucial in today’s workplace. Leaders need to be genuine, transparent, and true to their values. This builds trust and credibility, creating a stronger connection with their teams.
  • The shift to remote and hybrid work models has shown the importance of trusting employees. Leaders should focus on outcomes rather than monitoring every step, fostering an environment of empowerment and respect.
  • Disagreements are inevitable, but how we handle them makes all the difference. Leaders should promote healthy, respectful discourse and encourage teams to 'disagree better,' enhancing collaboration and understanding.
  • Inclusion goes beyond diversity numbers. It’s about making every individual feel valued and heard. Leaders must strive to create workplaces where everyone feels they belong, contributing to a more cohesive and productive environment.
  • With AI and automation reshaping job landscapes, leaders must guide their teams toward embracing new technologies. This includes identifying new skill requirements and preparing employees for future challenges and opportunities.
  • Leaders should prioritize effective policy-making that benefits the workforce and the organization over political considerations. This approach ensures decisions are made based on data, fairness, and the company's and its people's long-term well-being.

Quote of the Show:
  • “We have to create an environment where we can disagree better. Where we can have a civil conversation, and that doesn't mean you compromise on your values and what you believe in.” - Johnny C. Taylor


Shout Outs:

Creators & Guests

Anthony Shop
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Robert Krueger
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.

What is Chief Influencer?

Chief Influencer is a podcast that explores how today’s successful leaders inspire and influence others to make an impact in the world. They aren’t just Chief Executives, they’re “Chief Influencers.” We interview a range of leaders and uncover how they build authentic connections - both inside their organizations and beyond. Your next breakthrough idea may come from a Chief Influencer facing similar challenges in a completely different sector.