Brian Cornell, Chairman & CEO of Target Corporation | Episode #4

David Novak Podcast

Hear the story behind the leader. Our featured guest Brian Cornell, Chairman & CEO of Target Corporation, has been CEO of many companies in his career. Listen to Brian tell the story of what shaped his leadership style from his youth to his current role.
“No one will care about you unless you show that you care about them.” Click To Tweet Cornell joined Target in August 2014 after more than 30 years in escalating leadership positions at leading retail and global consumer product companies, including three CEO roles and more than two decades doing business in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His past experience includes time as both a vendor partner and a competitor to Target, and he brings insights from those roles to the company today.

Cornell has served on the board of directors for Yum! Brands since September 2015 and is a past director of Polaris Industries, Inc. He also serves on the board for UCLA’s Anderson School of Management Board of Visitors, providing strategic guidance to the dean in advancing the school’s mission, as well as the boards of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Download this Action Journal



This great resource will help you along the way, during or after you listen to the podcast. Not only will you get to know our guest, you will be asked tough questions to really spearhead your journey to becoming a better leader! And look below for more insights and clips!!

Shareable Insights

From Podcast Action Journal
When Brian took the role with Target, he wasn’t familiar with retail and realized he didn’t know much. He learned to be comfortable saying, “I don’t know.” It was a humbling experience, but asking for help made him appear more authentic to those he led, and it allowed them to be a part of the solution.
Here’s some advice Brian gives to anyone entering a new role:

  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Make fewer statements

(39:30-42:25)

Are you comfortable admitting when you don’t know something?
How can asking for help make you a better leader?

When it comes to recognition, Brian says you can’t give it enough. People want to know that you recognize their performance and contribution, and the value they bring to the team. Showing your team you care, and thanking them, will go a long way.
(12:07-16:20)

What are your thoughts when it comes to recognition?
How does giving recognition make your organization better?

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