LEADERSHIP Conversations with the Captains of Industry
Culture, Collaboration, and Courage
An early job in retail helped Megan Davidson find her calling in human resources. “As store manager, the recruiting and training parts of my job energized me most,” she says. Davidson’s latest role in HR is her position as chief people officer at Crowley, the logistics, government, marine, and energy solutions firm based in Jacksonville, Florida. She entered the C-suite at Crowley in November 2021. We spoke with Davidson about her career trajectory, agenda at Crowley, and strategies for nurturing talent in challenging times. IL: You came to Crowley after 11 years at British Petroleum. What are the corporate culture differences between them? The two companies share many similarities. But Crowley is able to be more purposeful and agile at all levels of the company. Decisions are made faster. Also, people at Crowley have more autonomy to put new ideas into action due to the environment that the leadership team has fostered over the years. IL: Share an early experience that shaped you as a leader. Shirley Bailey, who was HR business partner at Deutsche Bank when I joined that company in 2005, had a big influence on me. First, she took a chance on hiring me. I didn’t necessarily have all the required skills, but I was tenacious and had a strong work ethic. She gave a lot of her time, helping me to build my skill set. She also taught me a great deal about overcoming adversity and the power of attitude. As I’ve stepped into bigger roles, I’ve tried to be just as generous with my time, and sponsor people who need extra support to accelerate their careers. IL: What’s at the top of your agenda since you took on your new role? This is a pivotal time at Crowley. We’re shifting our strategy, with new emphasis on sustainability, emerging energy sources, and digital transformation. The question is how to leverage and reshape our culture as needed to support our goals. We have to make sure our culture works to enable, not hinder, our success. For example, we might need to move quickly to seize a new opportunity that aligns with our strategy. We’re a highly collaborative culture, and collaboration is good, but sometimes it can slow things down. To stay nimble, this may be one area where we need to consider making a shift.
Megan Davidson Chief People Officer, Crowley
Through transparency, honesty, and decisiveness, Megan Davidson champions Crowley employees and makes sure everyone is heard.
by Merrill Douglas
16 Inbound Logistics • April 2022
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