Q&A with 2023 Courageous Leader award winner, Monica Wood, Herbalife 

Editor’s Note: Monica Wood, Herbalife, is the winner of the 2023 Courageous Leader Award, a category in the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards. The award winners were announced during a virtual celebration on November 14, 2023. To learn more about the awards go to https://www.quirksawards.com/ 

Hearbalife’s VP of community and member insights, Monica Wood, was named the winner of the 2023 Courageous Leader Award during the virtual celebration for The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards.  

Wood has played a transformational role within the insight profession through her industry-wide contributions to innovation. Some of the contributions include championing the use of online communities by pharmaceutical companies, a comprehensive brand repositioning for Advil, leading the development of the first-ever proprietary 360 media tracking system and helped Campbell’s Soup gain its first per capita increase in 25 years. 

“Market research is the best of all worlds,” Woods said. “It is figuring out what motivates people and turning that into actions that have business impact. By looking at lots of data and turning it into insights, you drive the business forward by informing fact-based decisions.”  

Wood gave us some insight into her ideas behind leadership in this Q&A.  

What makes a good leader? 

A good leader is someone who leads by example. They are trusted by the people who work for them and with them. They speak out for what is right to do even if it is not the most popular thought. They take educated risks and are open to trying new things.  

A good leader builds relationships inside and outside the organization. They are strong communicators and know that different audiences may need to have a message customized for them. They are good listeners and storytellers. 

Good leaders mentor and grow their staff. They inspire their team to accomplish their best work. A leader should always show compassion for all they lead and work with.  

How do you see research and insight changing in the next five years?

More AI for sure, with continued reliance on surveys and qualitative research. Actionable research will continue to be critical to organizations. 

What advice do you have for someone entering the industry?  

Diversify – learn about all aspects of market research including business analytics, AI and sophisticated studies like segmentation. Learn how to communicate your results – convert complex ideas to simple ones, and make sure your data tells a story.