WYLD as a Key Executive Advisor
How the Chief Executive of Bonobos Finds Helpful, ‘No Fluff’ Advice
Micky Onvural turns to close friends and fellow CEOs for guidance, but also uses whimsical exercises to shift perspectives; pulling the swan card with her executive coach.
Soon after becoming chief executive of men’s clothing brand Bonobos, Micky Onvural had a revelation.
“This is going to sound fairly ridiculous, but there’s no job description when you’re CEO,” she says. “Where we take this company really is this incredible opportunity for me to define.”
Ms. Onvural, who took over the top job from co-founder Andy Dunn in September, says one of her early goals is broadening the brand’s base of customers. Bonobos, which was founded in 2007 and acquired by Walmart Inc. for $310 million in 2017, is expanding its line of apparel and targeting, for example, golfers who want better-fitting clothing on and off the course. It’s also opening additional “guideshop” locations where customers can try on various fits and sizes and then place an order for delivery.
While Ms. Onvural spent much of her career in marketing, she says retail runs in her family. Her father spent nearly 40 years working as a buyer for a clothing retailer in the U.K., and she continues to turn to him for advice, mostly on personal matters.
She listed Kristin as one of her four most trusted advisers…
CEO and founder of WYLD
When Ms. Onvural needs to have a tough conversation at work, or wants to discuss her performance in a meeting, she’ll often turn to Ms. Meek, an executive coach she met last year.
Ms. Onvural describes Ms. Meek as a “classic coach” in her ability to ask a series of perceptive questions to help her work through problems and address issues.
Ms. Meek is also helpful in shifting perspectives, Ms. Onvural says, often by making comparisons to nature. At the beginning or end of a coaching session, Ms. Meek will often pull a card from “The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit” deck, a set of illustrated animal archetypes, and ask how the animal resonates. A recently pulled swan card reminded Ms. Onvural she needs time alone to recharge.
The exercise is meant to be whimsical, and others at Bonobos also use it. “It’s fun, it’s silly,” Ms. Meek says, “but it definitely has become a ritual that this team, specifically, has come to love.”