This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Gail McGovern, 67, became the eighth CEO in five years at the American Red Cross in 2008, as the country entered its most severe economic downturn in seven decades. Today, she remains at the head of what is once again a fiscally healthy nonprofit. Looking back, she reflects on what she learned.
The $3 billion annual revenue organization responds to 60,000 disasters every year, ranging from single house fires affecting one family to natural disasters that impact hundreds of thousands. At the time she took the helm, the large nonprofit had drawn down its available credit lines and was nearing the brink of its own disaster.
McGovern successfully steered the organization through the crisis and credits the leaders of the organization for their resilience during the challenging period.
She had been through challenges before; in fact, she often sought them out early in her career. Along with 1900 men, she was one of just 50 women admitted to Johns Hopkins University the first year that women were allowed.
She joined AT&T doing technology “back when dinosaurs roamed the earth,” she quips. She nearly had to beg for an opportunity in sales, defending her candidacy by noting she’d sold Girl Scout cookies. A series of other lateral moves prepared her for a trajectory that landed her in the executive suite.
While working at AT&T, she worked with Dan Schulman, now president and CEO at PayPal. “Gail McGovern is a great friend, a valued mentor, and an outstanding leader. We first worked together many years ago at AT&T – and I have appreciated and benefitted from her wise counsel and support all along the way. I’m so proud of what Gail is achieving at the Red Cross and thrilled that PayPal can support her team’s life-saving initiatives,” he told me.
PayPal supports the Red Cross year-round, helping with digital fundraising and working closely on the annual “Missing Types” blood drive. “The American Red Cross and PayPal share a common commitment to improve the lives of people and communities around the world. The Red Cross is a trusted and necessary organization that mobilizes quickly to support those in need. We are honored to be their partners,” he said.
After leaving AT&T, McGovern, she joined Fidelity Investments as president of Fidelity Personal Investments, overseeing an operation with 10,000 people and $500 billion under management.
After leaving, she spent four years at Harvard when the challenges at the Red Cross created an opportunity there. It appealed to her “give-back gene” so she took the job.
“After 28 years in the for-profit world, you would think I had learned what I need to learn,” McGovern says. Referring to her experience leading the Red Cross, she adds, “But it taught me to be a different and better leader as a result of that experience.”
McGovern shared what she learned about being a leader, lessons she says would have applied perfectly in her for-profit experience to make her a better leader.
“Back when I was in the for-profit sector, you know, I would tell people, ‘Calm down. It’s just telecommunications. We’re not saving lives here,’ or at Fidelity, I’d say, ‘Calm down. You know, it’s just managing money. We’re not saving lives here,” she explains. “That schtick doesn’t work at the American Red Cross.”
“What I’ve learned at the Red Cross is it’s possible to not only lead with your head, but also lead with your heart.”
She says, in the for-profit world, it was her style to seek input and build consensus, but she and the team knew that at the end of the day, she had the authority to make decisions and she did. “I would say, ‘OK, we’re going to do this. Everybody jump!’ And people would say, ‘How high?’”
She says, working with 300,000 volunteers and a relatively small staff of just 19,000 mission-driven people, that approach doesn’t work. She says, directing volunteers is different. When you say, “’OK, everybody jump!’ And they say, ‘No, I’m not ready to. You can convince me. I don’t understand how that’s going to help our mission.’”
Her success suggests she learned to adapt quickly. “What I’ve learned is, first of all, you can lead to the power of your ideas, not the power of your office.”
Reflecting on the lesson, she points out how she might have led differently in her for-profit career.
“I just wish I said, ‘People, this is important work. We’re connecting people to the people that they love and the information that they need.’ Or ‘People, this is important work. We’re making people’s financial dreams come true,’” she explains. “Everybody wants to be part of a higher purpose. And, you know, I learned that while I was at the American Red Cross.”
She credits the team for the success she’s had. “Red Crossers are a special breed,” she explains, noting that they made sacrifices, including frozen salaries for a time and a year without a 401k match. “People were just so bound and determined to save the institution that for the most part, we really didn’t hear squawking. It was amazing.”
Their passion devolves in part from the breadth and importance of the mission. In addition to responding to disasters, they also provide blood products to thousands of hospitals and provide first-aid and related trainings to help build resilient communities. One lesser known program is the support provided to America’s armed forces.
USAA and The USAA Foundation have been long-term supporters of two military programs, including the Home Fire Campaign and the Services to the Armed Forces in addition to the disaster relief programs.
Harriet Dominique, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at USAA, told me, “The American Red Cross’ mission is to bring help and hope to individuals and communities affected by disasters. Their mission aligns to USAA’s mission – both catastrophe response and military support – that all underpins military family resiliency. We recognize the American Red Cross as a world-class leader in disaster relief, and through their leadership and strong team, do so much more for individuals and communities, including the men and women who serve our country.”
For more than a decade now, that leadership reflects the lessons Gail McGovern learned about leading with both her head and her heart.
JP Morgan: Bitcoin Needs to Reclaim $40K Soon or Momentum Will Fade
Bitcoin has to endure and overcome the $40,000 boundary in order to avoid a consequent major price correction. JPMorgan strategists say that otherwise, the major cryptocurrency might suffer investment outflow.
The $40K Is the Key to Future Prospects for BTC
According to a JPMorgan Chase & Co report, cited by Bloomberg, this level is an omen to more eventual losses.
The major financial institution strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou said that the cryptocurrency is at risk of further losses and an outflow of trend-following investors unless it can “break out” over the $40K frontier. The team added that the pattern of demand for BTC futures and the $22.9 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust might help determine the perspective.
“The flow into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust would likely need to sustain its $100 million per day pace over the coming days and weeks for such a breakout to occur,” the strategists commented on Friday.
After a record-breaking hit near $42K in the first week of January, Bitcoin suffered a significant price correction with almost $12K in just a short time, leaving investors pondering the reasons. JPM strategists said that the primary cryptocurrency has been in a similar situation last November when it passed the $20,000 test.
Furthermore, a significant flow of institutional money entering the Grayscale trust has encouraged the BTC rally claimed, JPM specialists. They’ve also noted that trend-following traders “could propagate the past week’s correction” and “momentum signals will naturally decay from here up till the end of March” if BTC price doesn’t break the $40,000 milestone.
Breaking the $40K Limit and Replacing Gold?
Amidst both volatile behavior and opinions on BTC, recently, JPMorgan shared another possible Bitcoin scenario. As CryptoPotato reported, analysts from the financial institution have claimed that the cryptocurrency has taken portions of gold’s market share which could lead to price losses for the bullion.
Back then, strategists said that institutional investors had shown significant transfers from gold ETFs to bitcoin, thus suggesting adverse price developments for the noble metal.
Both bitcoin and gold have one thing in common – their rather limited supply – which had encouraged investors to think that the digital asset might replace the precious metal to an extent in the future.
Analysts said that since October, “money has poured into Bitcoin funds and out of gold, a trend that’s only going to continue in the long run as more institutional investors take a position in cryptocurrencies.” Still, the bold suggestions remain more of a speculation, while BTC remains quite volatile.
Bitcoin Exchange Owner Sues Australian Banks For $290K For Accounts Closure
The legal battle comes as the Aussie man allegedly suffered significant losses in his crypto business after the banks, Westpac and ANZ, shut down his accounts, local media reported Monday.
According to the proceedings filed at the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Allan Flynn alleged that the banks’ action was illegal as they closed his accounts without any prior warning or reason.
20 Accounts Closed In Three Years
Flynn owns an AUSTRAC-registered crypto exchange with about 450 customers. Using the platform, he helps his clients to purchase crypto assets like Bitcoin.
The Australian Financial Review revealed that the complainant has had about 20 of his accounts shut down in the last three years by more than five Australian banks, including CBA, NAB, ING, and Bendigo Bank, to mention a few.
Following the continued account closures, Flynn said he opened new accounts with Westpac and ANZ while informing the banks that the account was for crypto transactions. But both accounts were closed after almost a year of running them. He said he received a message from Westpac saying his account would be closed in five days. His effort to open another account with Westpac was not successful.
He requested to know why his account was closed and why he couldn’t open a new one, and the bank told him that he was “under investigation for cryptocurrency fraud.”
Flynn said Westpac offered him a compensation of AUD$250 for not providing “reasonable notice” before closing the account. However, he hasn’t “seen a cent of it either.”
Not The Only One
For one thing, cryptocurrencies and exchanges are legal in Australia, and there’s no law prohibiting banks from rendering services to crypto traders. However, Flynn noted that he is not the only victim of this unlawful discrimination.
“I am by no means alone or the first. I know of at least one other trader who has had accounts closed more than 60 times,” he said, adding that “how am I supposed to run a lawful business if I can’t get a bank account?”
According to the report, Flynn demands a total settlement of AUD$375,000 from the banks, with the hearing expected to take place in late March.
He is seeking AUD$250,000 for stress and inconvenience and AUD$125,000 for emotional distress and reputational damage. Aside from closing his accounts, Flynn alleged that an ANZ employee informed other banks and his clients that he was fraudulent.
Cardano Price Analysis: 18 January
Cardano’s price has surged by a massive 133% in the last 15 days and the rally shows signs of more upward movement. Trading at $0.378 ADA is ranked the sixth-largest cryptocurrency in the world in terms of market cap. The cryptocurrency has witnessed a reduced volatility phase leading to fairly stagnant price movement.
Due to the formation of a bullish pattern, ADA’s outlook is overall bullish and suggests a price surge upwards of 10 -30% in the mid-to-long term.
Cardano 4-hour chart
As seen in the chart, ADA’s price has formed a bullish pennant with the price already breaking out of the pattern on January 16. Since the breakout, ADA has surged approximately 20% to where it currently stands. Although the general outlook is bullish, there might be a retest of the supports at $0.3579 and $0.3455, pushing the price higher.
With the price already surging 20% from the pennant, we can expect another 40% surge on the table. Hence, a long position would better serve the profits that are yet to come.
Supporting this is the constant inflow of volume despite the stagnant movement in price as seen in the OBV indicator. Following this, there is the RSI indicator that shows a retreat from the overbought zone due to the recent breakout from the pennant.
Lastly, the MACD indicator showed a dip in both the MACD line and the signal indicating a decrease in buying momentum. It also shows that these lines might undergo a bearish crossover soon.
With bitcoin trending sideways, this is the time for altcoins to surge higher. Rightfully so, altcoins are surging without a stop in sight, hitting new all-time highs – especially the DeFi coins. With ADA’s bullish pattern, there is a high chance for it to surge to $0.5333 or 67%. On the other hand, a drop below 0.240 would indicate failure of the uptrend and a continuation of the downtrend.
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