Cecil Johnson

cecil-johnson Cecil Johnson 

Head of Talent Development, North America — Johnson & Johnson 

Executing on an Evernote of Ideas
Known for his insatiable questioning that gets to the root of issues and unearths applicable best practices from other domains, Cecil naturally generates ideas that create momentum.

What separates him is his ability to identify a solution, mobilize champions, then follow through for results.  Currently, he has global and enterprise responsibility for accelerating the development of high potential talent to assume roles at the executive level.  Previously, as the Director of Commercial Sales Leadership Development for Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical companies in North America, Cecil improved the way leaders acquire organizational knowledge by designing the SALT process for sustainable accelerated learning transfer. This type of inventiveness—which has been well-received at conference presentations—is also evident in the ongoing theater-style leadership development course he co-designed where managers audition for the job of a leader.  To bring together sales leaders across five operating companies to learn, Cecil developed a spin on the TED-Ed platform to package existing internal video assets into an accessible training framework.

Changing the Way People Think About their Organizational Relationships
When he was earning his Master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, Cecil wrote his graduate thesis on the organization as a romantic partner, an exploration that revealed employees often fall in love with companies in both exciting and hurtful ways. To enlighten leaders on expanding the choices they have in the formation of their work partnerships, Cecil speaks on this topic and his book, Love Letters, will be published in 2020.

Recognizing the Value of Advocacy
Beginning with a friend who advised him to go into the pharmaceutical industry and his pharmacist father connecting him with a sales rep to shadow, Cecil has actively sought career mentors in times of challenge and transition. He was fortunate to have several managers who saw his potential, cultivated his professional growth, and allowed him to take creative risks. Committed to paying the advocacy he received forward, he’s a conscious coach of his direct reports and mentor to many in all generations. Cecil and his wife also founded The Athena Educational Foundation to remove boundaries for college-bound students by giving scholarships, and his book, What to Pack? 21 Essential Stories to Take on Your College Journey, supports this mission.

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