Elba Pareja-Gallagher

Director of Finance B2C Strategy at UPS & Founder of ShowMe50.org

I’ve been at UPS for 20 years now and during that time I’ve held many different jobs. One of the most impactful transitions in my career came when I transferred from investor relations to the marketing and strategy department. I was brand new to it, and I tried to find a book on strategy that would help me ease into the role. After some research, I settled on Blue Ocean Strategy. Immediately I was hooked. It spoke to me. It was as if the book articulated how I envisioned things should be. So I adopted it quickly and became a blue ocean champion within my company. When I started exploring blue ocean strategy, only a handful of people at UPS had actually read the book. I’m happy to say that today, in part through me advocating the theory, many employees at UPS know what blue ocean strategy is and what it can mean for them.

Discovering Blue Ocean Strategy coincided with the passion I had about advancing opportunities for women in corporate America. I was in the process of launching a non-profit and was looking for ways to influence companies’ decision making to achieve gender equality. I thought: “Of course, this is it!”

Concepts such as tipping point leadership and the four hurdles to strategy execution resonate, not only with me, but also with a growing workforce of women and millennials. I incorporated them into my approach. Later, when I read the Harvard Business Review article on blue ocean leadership, it gave me another methodical approach towards driving a new leadership model for the workforce. I see blue ocean leadership as a means to build bridges between generations and to influence change both on the strategic and social level.


Read Elba’s blogs on Blue Ocean Leadership on UPS Longitudes.
Find out more about her non-profit at ShowMe50.org.