Meeta Kratz

Director, Strategy – Government & Healthcare Business Unit
W.W. Grainger, Inc.

What is your most rewarding career accomplishment? What I value most is seeing people I mentored or worked with succeed. Personally, it has been very rewarding to work with Grainger in understanding the value of our name and what our brand stands for. This is a very humble organization, but we are changing our culture because, leveraging who we are will help us grow in the future.

What are the personal and/or professional sacrifices to being leader? Time is the major sacrifice. You have to change your mindset about the value of time and give up one thing to get another. In choosing a working career, I have learned to be very deliberate about the quality of the time I spend with my family; not just the quantity.

Headquarters: Lake Forest, Illinois
Web Site:
Primary Business: Distributor, Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Supplies
Employees: 18,000

What was the defining moment in your life in which you understood your leadership? I was a member of a literary society in college, when I first realized I had a natural ability to influence people. I discovered that the direction of a group of people could be shaped without being the formal leader of the group. I had never thought that of myself until I saw it materialize.

What advice can you provide for young leaders? My advice early in your career is to be deliberate, to take the time to decide where it is you want to go, and to map out how to get there. If you don’t have an end game, you will find you lack direction when you are making some of your early career decisions.

Education: B.S., Kettering University; M.B.A., University of Illinois
What I’m reading: The Exceptional Presenter, by Timothy J. Koegel
My philosophy: Every challenge is a learning opportunity. Like water, you need to adapt to any environment.
Interests: My family (twin four-year old girls), reading, travel