Nadine Hall on Cultivating Leadership and Team Building Expertise at HanesBrands and Sara Lee.

Nadine Hall on Building and Supporting Teams at Hanesbrands.

Nadine Hall is a cross-functional business leader, having spent decades innovating in apparel and consumer products at companies like HanesBrands and Sara Lee. At both the president and SVP levels, Nadine oversaw billions of dollars of retail value, built and developed successful teams, and established high-growth business models across a variety of product lines and business units. Nadine’s leadership style includes a collaborative approach to innovative business strategy, data-driven analytics, and breakthrough models for brand growth and development. She’s also a board member, consultant, and advisor for companies in and outside the apparel industry. 

Nadine and Roy discuss how she developed her approach to leadership, what she looks for when interviewing potential candidates, the importance of a forward-thinking hiring strategy, and much more.

Listen to the podcast

Highlights from our conversation

  • Experiences that shaped Nadine’s approach to leadership and hiring (3:20)
  • Development internal teams vs. recruiting external candidates (10:34)
  • What Nadine looked for when hiring for her leadership team (12:28)
  • Evaluating a candidate’s ability to navigate a large corporate matrix (19:14)
  • Supporting her team when they were making high stakes hires (25:37)
  • Lessons learned from hiring successes and failures (27:43)
  • What Nadine wishes she knew earlier in her career (31:16)

Show Transcript – Podcast with Nadine Hall

[00:00:00] Roy Notowitz: Hello and welcome to How I Hire, the podcast that taps directly into the best executive hiring advice and insights. I’m Roy Notowitz, founder and CEO of Noto Group Executive Search. You can learn more about us at As a go-to firm for purpose-driven companies, we’ve been lucky to work with some of the world’s most inspiring leaders as they’ve tackled the challenge of building high-performance leadership teams. Now I’m sitting down with some of these very people to spark a conversation about how to achieve success in hiring and create purposeful leadership for the next generation of companies. Nadine Hall joins me today on the podcast. Nadine is a seasoned, cross-functional business leader in apparel and consumer products. At the president and VP-level, Nadine led multi-billion dollar business units, brands, and product lines for Hanes, Champion, and Polo Ralph Lauren. She began her career in Sara Lee’s hosiery business, where she ultimately served as Vice President and General Manager. Nadine is also a consultant, advisor, and board member counseling companies, both in and outside the apparel industry. She brings an impressive track record of high growth, innovation, and people-oriented leadership to the conversation today. Nadine talks about mentors and experiences that have shaped her approach to hiring, developing internal teams versus making external hires, successes and setbacks in team building, and how she evaluates a candidate’s ability to navigate a large corporate matrix. Nadine, thanks so much for joining us on the podcast today. 

[00:01:46] Nadine Hall: You know, Roy, it’s such a pleasure to be here. I’m really grateful to have the chance to be with you and looking forward to a terrific conversation, as always. 

[00:01:53] Roy Notowitz: This’ll be fun. Let’s start right in with your career journey and how that led you down the path of taking on significant leadership roles.

[00:02:04] Nadine Hall: Yeah, so, for me, it has been a great career. When I was with HanesBrands, my first leadership role was the General Manager of the hosiery business, and we were in a tough spot with the industry declining, so we set ourselves on the course of dramatic innovation. And some of those products actually did well enough to turn the industry and to help us in terms of gaining share. One of the most important roles was, as we spun off from Sara Lee and became HanesBrands, the CEO and leadership team asked me to lead Champion in what was a very small C9 by Champion business. So that was a great chance to really develop leadership skills, build a team from the ground up, and, eventually, through many people’s great work, we went from about 50 million to over a billion dollars in annualized retail sales. So, those are some of the early stages that were really meaningful to me as far as growth, and leadership, and mentoring. 

[00:03:00] Roy Notowitz: Yeah, and I think we met right when you were leading C9 and when it was going through that growth. 

[00:03:06] Nadine Hall: Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I always benefited from your observations of the industry, and knowledge, and thinking about the bigger picture and how we could serve consumers the best, so I appreciate that over the years. 

[00:03:19] Roy Notowitz: Oh, that’s awesome. So are there specific people or experiences that inspired or influenced your approach to leadership and hiring? 

[00:03:28] Nadine Hall: Yeah, I’d say the early leaders of HanesBrands when we spun off, so Lee Chaden was our chairman and then went to executive chairman, retired. And Rich Noll was CEO of HanesBrands in the early spinoff years. He was succeeded by Gerald Evans, and then I worked, on and off, for many years for Howard Upchurch. And all of those people had such an enormous influence on leadership, on the teams that you’re building, and the bigger purpose of what we’re doing in the consumer communities, and shareholders, and others that we serve. One of the best opportunities for me to really learn and grow was moving to the Champion C9 by Champion business because two things: mainly, I was able to lead other areas cross-functionally that I hadn’t worked in or come up in. So, leading the sales team, leading the brand team; actually, earlier in champions history leading product development. Those were wonderful, humbling experiences, and I was grateful for many experts in those areas who, frankly, probably taught me more than I was ever able to help them. As well, you know, C9 began, and I came in about 15 months after it started, we had about 10 fantastic people all sitting in a room together, and, over time, we figured out what was the right organizational strategy, which roles did we need, and then whose skill sets most aligned with what was needed in the roles, what the business needed, and also, who would be coming later. Who needed to be trained or given new experiences so maybe they could have those more senior roles later on when the incumbents were promoted. It was a great opportunity to learn, and I appreciated so much mentoring of me, as well as the openness and energy with which everyone always took on a new role. 

[00:05:21] Roy Notowitz: It was also, I think, an interesting dynamic when we were working with you on C9 around having Target Corporation as a customer, but also having a lot of the business leaders in North Carolina and design and product creation in New York City, so you had this triangle of Minnesota, North Carolina, and New York. That was an interesting dynamic from a leadership perspective and, also, before we had a lot of remote teams and things working together in that way. 

[00:05:52] Nadine Hall: Yeah, it’s really true. You make such a great point. And the other interesting thing is we and Target had licensee/licensor relationship for part of the business as well as we had outside licensees. And, in addition, we, and you, actually, were a big help in this, we were able to establish a merchandising team. They’re in Minneapolis, so they could be connected every day with the Target merchants, which was really invaluable. 

[00:06:17] Roy Notowitz: Huge. Yeah. 

[00:06:17] Nadine Hall: And, in addition, we had either turnkey sources, agents, or our own facilities in Asia that were helping us all the time. So, we had a bit of a 24/7 experience in the days when that was relatively new, at least for those of us within HanesBrands. But, what I found wonderful was everyone was always very flexible about finding a time that could work, or squeezing in a few minutes, getting to the point quickly so we could maximize the five to seven minutes of time we had everyone together. So those things really put us in a great place to move the business forward. 

[00:06:52] Roy Notowitz: Were you always a leader when you were growing up? Or did you have leadership roles in school or sports? 

[00:07:00] Nadine Hall: I tended to gravitate to leadership roles even prior to high school, and certainly in high school. I’m not much of an athlete by skill, but I always think, you know– 

[00:07:10] Roy Notowitz: Same.

[00:07:10] Nadine Hall: I focused on one sport, which was tennis, and my theory was, okay, strategy and teamwork are my thing, versus skill and brute force, so I played a lot of doubles, which really relied on those. But I also had leadership roles within the school setting, and then, when I went to college, I found others who helped encourage me into new leadership roles, to run for elections, those sorts of things.

[00:07:35] Roy Notowitz: Oh, cool. 

[00:07:35] Nadine Hall: As well as talk to me about getting my MBA, which I went on to do. And so there’s a lot of training informally, and then also during the MBA program on leadership. And then, when I started with Sara Lee and then continued with HanesBrands, there was always formal and informal mentoring, leadership training, just a real focus on continuing to push yourself, and develop yourself, and be put in situations that were going to stretch you, that were larger, or more unusual, or different. Or, in the case of C9, where we were starting something completely new, those things really give a lot of data points with which to then tackle something else, which is maybe more complicated or even more of a departure from the past because you have some reference points to say, “We can take some learnings from this part of our career, or we can go back and talk to this person about what they did in this other situation, and I know them from other experiences.” So those kinds of things really make a difference of starting to see it all come together, but understanding how to draw in different parts of your experience to apply them to new situations. 

[00:08:46] Roy Notowitz: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, and that’s a great story. So when did you first start hiring and building teams? Tell me a little bit about how you started getting exposed to that. 

[00:08:57] Nadine Hall: Some of the early hires were actually in college in various leadership roles, but it really formally started, I’d say, when I began with what was then Sara Lee. There was a great deal of strategy, and time, and energy put into hiring, in those days, new MBAs, at all levels, all the way up, and it included cross-functional input and engagement in terms of what was needed. Everything from crafting the description, to the initial review of resumes, to interviewing, making hiring decisions. So, this concept of strategically aligning, having a plan that’s got a process to it that’s repeatable and refinable, and then being very thorough and giving the time to the hiring decisions and the process became very evident to me because we rarely, in those days, made a mis-hire. And someone said once — one of the senior leaders — I’ll never forget it, she said, “We may be hiring the next person who will run this company or this division, and so think about that. And we may not see that in them now, but we need to think about it with that level of seriousness.” So that was a key that really changed my perception of everything. 

[00:10:25] Roy Notowitz: And I do remember in working with you and your talent team that the process was really organized, consistent, and thoughtful. So how did you balance developing internal talent and teams with recruiting external candidates? 

[00:10:42] Nadine Hall: I think there were a couple things. One is our goal was to always develop internal teams so that they would be ready, sometimes ready early, but ready, as needed, to assume those roles at any moment. So there was always a sense that we always need to be ready for what might come next because there can be some terrific opportunities. So we wanted employees to feel that we were investing in them and that we were helping them achieve. The career goals that they had. And then secondly, on the outside, when we had skill sets we needed that we didn’t have, and we needed them on a timetable that we didn’t think we could develop internally, then we would go outside. And I think the balance of the two and getting a sense for what roles really are ideally filled by somebody from the inside and what are filled from the outside, that clarity is particularly helpful. So, internally we’d say, for example, “I have a role that’s going to be extremely matrixed, and the task at hand has to be done very quickly and is complex.” In that case, we would say, “Gosh, we’d really rather have an internal candidate that they know the people, we know them, they understand how challenging it may be to do this, and they’re ready to go.” External might be when we say, “You know, we really need somebody who understands this part of the business, or this type of customer, or this specific customer.” In which case you might say, “We’re going to hire that person from the outside because we need them now, and we need that very specific expertise, and they’re a good match for us, and we’re a good match for them. So they’ll blend right in in no time.” 

[00:12:26] Roy Notowitz: Right. That’s excellent. So what do you look for when you’re hiring for your leadership team? 

[00:12:34] Nadine Hall: Yeah, so I often think about some of the basics, like drive for success, you know, work ethic, the highest ethical standards, critical. They feel comfortable with us, and we feel comfortable with them, and that they really are excited about the work that they’ll be doing. And the company’s great, and the brand is great, but the work that they’ll be doing, they’re really excited about it, and they see it as part of our investment in them and their career progression towards where they want to be — even if it’s just the next step, you know, or something of that nature towards next possible steps, more than one is great also. And typically, you know, we look for people who are in those more junior levels who can be trained in the way that we wanted things to be done and trained to really grow and develop businesses and do it in the best possible way, so that we’re aligned in terms of our values.

[00:13:31] Roy Notowitz: When you talk about values and trying to understand whether it’s a good fit for the person that you’re recruiting or interviewing, was there a specific way that you would evaluate that? Or how would you get a feel for those elements? 

[00:13:48] Nadine Hall: Well, a couple of things. One is I tried to make sure that I could speak with them repeatedly — a couple of phone conversations, in person, those kinds of things. And the other thing is I tried to make sure that there was plenty of time for them to ask me questions so that I could talk to them about things that, you know, they might not be able to find out about the company, but also talk to them about, “Here’s what my experience has been of working here. Here’s why I’m still here after all these years. Here’s how I see this role progressing, you know, long term and the kinds of things that we would potentially be interested in your doing. Here’s how I see that we might be a good fit for you, and here are some things I think you might need to think about in the early days that would be particularly helpful for you.” Then also engaging with that person, trying to understand who they are, what do they like to do as far as work, but what kind of person are they? What do they like to do in their spare time? What kinds of books do they like to read? Do they have certain passions that we could help serving the community? Or other philanthropic outlets, or things of that nature that would be helpful for them to know that we could support or have them be part of. And the other is getting a wide range of input. Certainly different, cross-functional areas, but also people who were at different levels in the organization, and had been with Hanes different periods of time, or come to us from different experiences so that there was a broad base of input as well. Hopefully a broad base of support for that person when they started so that they would know people in different parts of the company, ideally some of the people they’d be working with or people whose groups that they would be working with. And then I always relied on some of our most senior leaders who had done a lot of hiring over the years for a variety of roles to weigh in. Their input meant a lot also.

[00:15:48] Roy Notowitz: That’s a great example and segue to a question that I just was thinking about as you were talking about that, and that is: how do you make decisions on important hires? What’s been your process for sifting through all of those inputs and feedback to get to the best hire? 

[00:16:05] Nadine Hall: For me, it was trying to have a balanced view and a broad view, so certainly the quantitative data — going back through their resume, making sure we talked about, “What do you think your most critical achievements in total?” and then for each of the major roles they had. Their amount of work experience, education, other things that might bring to bear, like if they had lived in a foreign country, or they had been highly involved in certain organizations outside of work, or things of that nature, that might give us a sense of what is the data around this person? And then lots of qualitative data. So, this is the extensive conversations with me and with other members of our team in — an ideal case, with some of the members of our team that they’d be working with and including cross-functional leaders, of course. And then, frankly, a lot of perspective from them. I used to say to people, “If you come here and you’re unhappy, we’ve all lost, right? We’ve wasted your time, and we’re in a tough spot because we don’t want that.” And so I would encourage them, “Either ask me, ask others, ask the HR team, ask people who are in other parts of the company when you interview with them, ask them those questions or ask me questions like, ‘Why have you been here all these years?’ or, ‘With all the positives you’ve told me about Hanes, can you see any challenges that you’re working to overcome?’ Or, ‘You know, what is going to be the difference between success and a highly challenged experience in this role?’ Or, ‘What don’t I know about the company yet that might be hard for me to find out, but I should know?'” And then being very thorough in discussion with other interviewers. When I have cross-functional leaders help with input, certainly they make a written summary, a rating, but I like to go and speak with them and have more of a dialogue and say, “You know, you rated this person very highly on this. What were some of the reasons why they got such an incredibly high rating? You rated this person very low on these areas, can you help me understand that so that I can get a sense for it? And if there were low ratings, but this person overall we think is a finalist in this, how are you going to feel? Or what can we do as we onboard this person to overcome some of these areas? And would you be in support of it or do you feel like you cannot?” And then I think support after the hire is critical. So, a sense that the person can always come see you. So I used to say, “You know you’re reporting to somebody who works on our team. If there’s anything you need, the door’s always open. If you need to be referred to somebody else internally where you’re stuck on something, I’d be glad to introduce you. You’ve always got your HR partners, even if it’s the talent folks you know best, go to them, and they can direct you to the right person because we are here to help support you in every way that we can. So, we’re all about your success, and helping overcome barriers, and mentoring, coaching, developing you, whatever it’s going to take. So feel free to call on us, or we’ll invite ourselves in if we think that we might have some ideas for you to either improve or just keep going in certain areas where you’re particularly strong.” 

[00:19:13] Roy Notowitz: That’s great. How do you evaluate a candidate’s ability to effectively navigate the large corporate matrix? I mean, Hanes was a pretty large company. How did you evaluate that or support somebody coming into that environment? 

[00:19:28] Nadine Hall: I looked for experiences they’d had in the past that were highly matrixed, so companies like ours. I asked them point blank, “You know, we live in a very highly matrixed organization, so having the ability to navigate that or to figure out how to be effective and fast in that environment is critical. Tell me about those experiences.” And then pressing them a bit on, “Can you tell me a time when you either had a challenge with another team member? Or you had a particularly challenging situation? How did you overcome that? What role did you play? What resources did you draw on?” And then asking the cross-functional partners that the person would be interviewing with to evaluate them from a sense of, “What do you think it’d be like for your team and you to work with this person? And what do you think some of their strengths are? Where are areas where we would need to coach this person a little bit more if they came to join us?” And just trying to also get a comfort level for working and thriving in that environment. So, generally, we had a lot of success with that sort of approach, as well as continuing to coach once someone arrived, and how to build trust, and build partnerships, and work together, overcome challenges jointly, brainstorm, et cetera.

[00:20:42] Roy Notowitz: That’s great. What are some of the other things that you did to increase your knowledge of a candidate or to increase your confidence on an important hiring decision? 

[00:20:52] Nadine Hall: Well, I think one critical thing was to spend time with them, or having a conversation about something not related to work — just trying to get to know them as a person.

[00:21:04] Roy Notowitz: Yeah. Different settings. Mm-Hmm. 

[00:21:06] Nadine Hall: Yeah, in different settings. And I think also trying to gauge, “How are you thinking about how our company would fit into your goals? What is particularly of interest to you with regard to joining our company? Are there challenges you have? Or, in the first 90 days, how do you think about onboarding? And how would you like to be onboarded? How would you like our relationship to be established? What kinds of things do you prefer?” Simple things like, “I’d prefer to mostly text and email, and then see you on a more structured basis,” or, “I’d rather have a little bit of conversation all the time and do a little texting now and again.” It’s just trying to get a flavor for how they would like things to go, and then trying to help them with evaluating whether we were a good fit for them. I used to think the balance of if we’re a great fit for them and they’re not a great fit for us, we’re going to struggle, and the same vice versa. So, trying to make sure that they felt excited, they had been provided by us with all the data for them to make a decision because we knew we’d have the data. We wanted to make sure they had the data and understanding of that.

[00:22:17] Roy Notowitz: What are some other insights that helped you determine whether or not a candidate would be a great fit? 

[00:22:24] Nadine Hall: You know, Sara Lee and HanesBrands also was very, very focused on ethical behavior and business practices. And you know, even back with Sara Lee, we were talking about the mirror test and ethical behavior before anyone had heard of companies that had been really challenged with that. So that was a key part of it. The other thing was diversity and inclusion. Same thing, starting back with Sara Lee and definitely HanesBrands also, it was just part of the culture that everyone was invited in and I used to sort of simplistically say to candidates, “We serve every consumer. Our base of consumers is broad and diverse, and so we want our employees to reflect that too. So we want all the different parts of one’s background to be brought fully to bear on the business.” The third thing was, I would say respect. So, if I got any sense that the person was disrespectful of anyone, or sharp with people, or just didn’t really want to engage with others, preferred to be more off to themselves, it probably wasn’t a good fit for us. Now, there are always single contributor roles in any organizations, but, generally, in the business units where we were running businesses and leading the P&L, we were working in a matrix within our own group and then across groups for sure. So that sense of respecting every individual and appreciating them is part of it too. So that sort of respect and the gratitude. Thinking in some ways about: we are grateful to have a wonderful company to work with, to have exceptional colleagues, to have fantastic brands, have terrific customers, to be a part of communities around the globe where we’re serving them. I mean, gratitude for the opportunity to fulfill those roles and to be in them. And, in some ways, you can say leadership is a luxury. I always appreciated being selected for challenging assignments, and I appreciated the faith in me, as well as respected the requirements and the responsibility those roles were. And so I just have to drive myself constantly to try and be at my very best, and if I’m not able to do something as well as I’d like, then I better quickly figure out somebody who can help me, or mentor me, or offer advice, or something I could do to learn quickly how to be the best in that time that was needed for the business. So, those things I think were critical, and it’s a feeling you get, but that sense of respecting everyone around us and trying to bring out the best in them. In our case, bringing it to bear on the business, but also bring out the best in them for the other members of the team who need them. And that’s, I think, part of what the job of leadership is — helping people, and then stepping out of their way. Or, as you say to people, “You’re the one in the circle of light, right? All eyes are on you. You’re on the big stage. I’m just standing right here in the wings though, so I’m here to help you. I don’t think you need my help, but if you do, I’m right here. So you just call on me.” 

[00:25:33] Roy Notowitz: So, Nadine, you had a large team. How did you weigh in or support your leadership team as they were making important hiring decisions on high stakes candidates or hires? 

[00:25:46] Nadine Hall: Well, I think there are a couple of things: one is being involved with them from the beginning and having a strategic approach to those hires and saying, “Let’s think about what do we need now, but what are we going to need later? And where might a person with these skill sets be able to excel and thrive in our organization and be promoted?” So taking that strategic purpose overall. And then secondly, encouraging them to be fully engaged, whether, frankly, they’re reporting to them or not. Asking for their full engagement and suggesting that even if it’s reporting to one of their direct reports, it’s a critical person because we need strength all the way up and down and across our businesses. And then saying, “In the end, I’m going give you a point of view, particularly things you want and maybe a little point of view more than you’d like, but the decision is yours in the end because they’re on your team. And, in some ways, they’re responsible for you and you’re going to be responsible for them, and their development, and certainly their results. And so the choice in the end is yours.” I hope people took that seriously because, you know, I do have a strong point of view about things, but the sense was, you know, “I’m trusting you, and I feel good about that, to run your team and run this part of the business. And, again, I’m here anytime you need me, but mainly it’s your show, and you’re going to need to trust this person also. And so you want to be comfortable that you’ve made the right hire, but they work on your team. They’re part of your team, so, in the end, it’s your decision to make and I will support what you decide.” 

[00:27:27] Roy Notowitz: Even the most seasoned and experienced executives make hiring mistakes. And so, if you reflect back, maybe there were a few examples, or lessons, or themes that you might’ve learned from hiring successes or failures. What are some of those things that you’ve learned over the course of your career as it relates to hiring?

[00:27:49] Nadine Hall: The successes mainly have been a couple of things: one is they were well-suited across all the metrics. They had the right experience and training for the role. They very much wanted the role. Others on the team, the interview team of people, and those that they met were very excited about them. Anyone who knew them, either in our company or people that were references, spoke very highly of them and thought they’d be a good fit. So when you say to them, “Do you think Roy would be happy working with us here? And why do you think that? And are there things that, as we onboard him, would help him be engaged more quickly, succeed more, be the kind of support he would like to have? What would that look like?” so that we got a flavor of those things. So those kinds of things tended to really work well. And I will say the one place where I made a mis-hire or misplacing someone in a role is, in the end, they didn’t want to do the job. So this was a person who was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, had all the background, had all the education, had excelled in every prior role. People were delighted to work with this person and just thought she was fantastic, and they ended up leaving the company. And they said to me, “I wanted to do this part of the role, but I didn’t want to do this other part.” And I said, “Well, to your credit, you told me that upfront, you had hesitation about it.” In those days, Roy, I was more of a mindset like, this person’s got all this stuff going for them., Here’s what all the quantitative data says, and I know they can do it, and I’m sure they know they can do it, but I passed by their will to do it. And it was such an invaluable lesson. It was certainly our loss, and my personal loss from our team. This person was exceptional in every way, but I was very happy for them because they seemed happy about their next role that they went to, but I’ve never forgotten it and always been grateful to them for the reminder of, at some point, no matter how. Intelligent, experienced, educated, knowledgeable, someone is about a role they take on, and what needs to be done in that role, and actually doing it if they don’t want to do it, they’re either not going to, or they’re going to come to the place when it’s really hard going, and it’s just going to be tough. It’s going to be tough for everybody. So that was a real learning for me. Difficult, but it happened relatively early on in those senior roles, and so I always thought about saying to people, “How much are you feeling great about coming to join us?” And that’s when I started saying to people, “If you come here, and you’re unhappy, or you feel like this is the wrong spot for you, no matter how great you’re doing with it, six months in, we have all lost. So I want you to ask me questions that may be uncomfortable or that you may not feel uncomfortable asking me, you ask someone else that will give you a real sense of what it is like to work here. And I can tell you all the great things and why I’m still here after all these years, but I want you to make an informed decision. We don’t want any buyer’s remorse.” 

[00:31:15] Roy Notowitz: That’s awesome. So as you reflect upon your career, and tenure in the organization, and your career path in general, is there anything that you wish you had known earlier in your career that might benefit young leaders today? 

[00:31:31] Nadine Hall: There are a couple of things. One is focusing on the current role and thinking about doing your very, very best in that role. I’m going to take this role, and I’m going to excel in every way that I possibly can, and I’m going to try and figure out how I can do more of things I do well, so I can try and improve the business, but also I’m going to try and improve myself and tackle some things that are tougher because that’s what the business needs, and that’s where my focus should be. I also had a senior leader say to me once, “How people do small things is how people do big things,” and I thought that was so interesting, and I found him to be very right about that. And so, the concept of: I’ve got this small little village that I’m trying to run, but someday I might be in charge of many villages, and so I’ve got to figure out how I can excel now and continue to push myself and learn. The second thing I’d say is there’s really not that much that can’t be overcome with going back to the basics, including just hard work and kind of a relentless drive to improve, to make things happen, to cause something to happen that would never happen otherwise. And to push yourself. I used to say to people, you know, “What we do for a living is we make things happen that would never happen otherwise. So this chemistry or this group of people we have, our job is to do something that would never happen otherwise.” We’re going to get to harder and harder levels of things, but partly for me, the more challenging it gets, the more intense I get about making it happen. 

[00:33:15] Roy Notowitz: Right.

[00:33:15] Nadine Hall: Which is fun in a way. And then the third thing is continuing to meet members of the team where they are and continue to enjoy getting to know them as a professional and a person, but also help them to feel valued for what they give to the team. because when there’s that sense of being valued, and respected, and appreciated for what you bring, I think, you know, some great things can happen and people more fully engage themselves, I think, when they feel valued, and respected, and appreciated. Particularly also for, you know, a different point of view, or a crazy idea that they want to try, or something they’d like to test and see how it works. And those things sometimes lead to dramatic breakthroughs on the business.

[00:34:05] Roy Notowitz: That’s awesome. So what are you working on currently, and what new or exciting things are in your future? 

[00:34:13] Nadine Hall: I’m doing consulting and advisory work, mainly in the apparel space, but some of it has been not in that area. I did some work for financial services and other industries, and it has been interesting for me to see how much overlap there is in our industry, and business in general, that applies in those other areas. Things like driving growth, or organizing a new structure for the team, or onboarding a senior executive. 

[00:34:43] Roy Notowitz: Interesting. 

[00:34:43] Nadine Hall: I’m also looking at the next role and thinking a lot about the apparel industry and probably companies of either the size of Hanes or ones that are family owned or founder-led.

[00:34:55] Roy Notowitz: Mm-Hmm. Small to midsize, growth-oriented. 

[00:34:58] Nadine Hall: Yeah, because there are a lot of apparel companies in that space and a lot of interesting things that people are doing with that. 

[00:35:03] Roy Notowitz: There are, yeah. 

[00:35:04] Nadine Hall: And then I’ve been continuing with board service. I serve on a for-profit board and have for some time, totally outside of apparel. It’s a closely held company, and so that’s been a great experience over time because the board is composed of quite different people, and it’s a different industry, which has been intriguing. It’s also been interesting to see how consumer insights and thinking about the consumer really help, almost irrespective of what business it is. Who is our customer, who is our consumer. And then I’ve served on some not-for-profit boards, including one advisory board for an educational group that serves the retail and also consumer and apparel industries. 

[00:35:46] Roy Notowitz: Wow, that’s great. 

[00:35:47] Nadine Hall: As well as some work with the local foundation board too, United Way. So it’s been great. So it’s been full of those sorts of things. 

[00:35:54] Roy Notowitz: That’s great. Well, I certainly have enjoyed staying in contact with you, and I’m excited about what’s next, and I appreciate you taking time to share your leadership, and hiring insights, and perspectives. It’s always a pleasure. Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today.

[00:36:13] Nadine Hall: Oh, well, Roy, it is really an honor to be here with you. And all the years that we’ve known each other and your sage advice in all circumstances is much appreciated and– 

[00:36:22] Roy Notowitz: You’re too kind. 

[00:36:23] Nadine Hall: –I’m excited about the apparel industry and our industry in general because I think we’re at a unique time, so it’s going to be super exciting this next decade or two of how things go and how the businesses are able to evolve.

[00:36:36] Roy Notowitz: Absolutely. Thanks for tuning in to How I Hire. Visit for more details about the show. How I Hire is created by Noto Group Executive Search. To find out more about us, visit You can also sign up for our monthly email job alert newsletter there and find additional job search strategy and hiring resources. This podcast was produced by Anna McClain. To learn more about her and her team’s work, visit