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Women Execs Making it Happen: How do they do it?
The 2015 international Women’s Day theme is “make it happen.” + Some of the top female marketing and business leaders from across U.S., India, China, Spain, England, and Ireland weighed in on how they make it happen. Margaret Molloy Global CMO Siegel+Gale @MargaretMolloy
Put the Customer at the Center “At HP our tagline is “make it matter,” which is about enabling our customers to do the things that matter to them. We put the customer at the center of what we do, be it storytelling in our customer experience centers, user centric digital experience design and social engagement—they’re at the core of what we do.” Susan Popper SVP Experience Marketing Hewlett-Packard
Stay Ahead of the Pack “Inspire a shared vision and clear strategy for growth. Keep a close eye on the rear view mirror and cultivate a business environment that empowers teams to innovate. Ask the right questions, and have the confidence to make decisions around what not do to, as much as around what to do to gain market share.” Alison Metcalfe Executive Vice President, United States & Canada Tourism Ireland @metcalfealison1
Kelly Liang Senior Vice President of Business Development SmartThings Build Relationships “To “make it happen” at work, I force tradeoffs and do not try to do everything, but rather focus on flawless execution of the highest priorities. I obsess about the people in my organization and make sure to reward, recognize, and retain talent. Lastly, ensuring alignment and transparency are key ingredients to building strong working relationships with internal stakeholders as well as external partners.”
Seek to Understand “This year, we are “making it happen” by focusing our international marketing and business development activities around two themes, smart cities and the connected consumer. These themes draw on a combination of Osborne Clarke’s in-depth understanding of our clients’ industries and our legal expertise.” Fiona Sigee Business Development Director Osborne Clark
Niamh Bushnell Dublin Commissioner for Startups @NiamhBushnell Seek to Understand “This year, we are “making it happen” by focusing our international marketing and business development activities around two themes, smart cities and the connected consumer. These themes draw on a combination of Osborne Clarke’s in-depth understanding of our clients’ industries and our legal expertise.”
Embrace Simplicity “We recently launched our new branding, with simplexity as the brand idea behind everything we do. I am making simplexity happen at Panda Security by leading several cross-functional volunteer groups who work together to innovate by simplifying.” Paula Quiros Marketing/PR Director Panda Security @pquiros
Be Forthright With Your Opinions “I am making it happen by being authentic. I get things done by sharing what I really think and inviting others to do the same. Whether I agree with an idea or not, my experience in doing so builds trust. When people know where you stand you make progress faster and develop stronger relationships.” Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson Managing Director Sapphire Ventures @Beezer232
Never Give Up “Belief in yourself, persistence and resilience is what is needed to make it happen—never give up. At Time Inc. India we are making it happen for women by ensuring that International Woman’s Day is not just one day a year. We encourage women at all levels to take risks and fail forward.” Sejal Shah Gulati President & Managing Director Time Inc. India @SejalShahGulati
Avoid Distractions “In a world where consumers and business landscapes are changing so rapidly, we are staying laser focused on what will have the greatest impact for our consumers, clients and our organization. Distractions and multiple priorities are the new normal—focus and clarity on delivering critical initiatives with excellence makes all the difference.” Marla Thompson SVP, U.S. Strategy Catalina
Believe in Yourself “For me, “making it happen” starts with believing you can do it, even if you've never done it before and being perseverant. My first assignment at the China Investment Corporation was responsibility for private equity funds in Europe, a market I had never covered before. With self-belief and hard work, I did it. Women are often told what they can't do, sometimes by themselves. You have to get rid of those self limiting thoughts in order to make it happen.” Olivia Ouyang Managing Director China Investment Corporation
Focus on Execution “I work at a large media company and I have often heard of good ideas/projects being dismissed because they "won't move the needle”. I believe that a good idea, even if modest in size, combined with great execution is always worth doing if it advances an operational strategy. Very few individual ideas/projects/deals will "move the needle" for a large corporation, but the cumulative impact of many well executed projects can be surprisingly meaningful and achieve real strategic and financial impact.” Rachel Lam SVP & Group Managing Director TW Investments at Time Warner Inc.
Build Relationships “I'm making it happen by getting up from my desk and talking to people—building relationships rather than writing emails. Before I type any email, I have resolved to ask myself, can this be done better in person? It's shocking how such a practice can make things happen more quickly with fewer misunderstandings.” Christine Burke Director, Runner Products New York Road Runners
Use Your Strengths “Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and the trick to "making it happen" is to use your strengths when approaching an opportunity or challenge. Good things happen when you leverage the different strengths (super powers) of people in an organization. Diversity is key to making really meaningful things happen.” Heather McGlinn Hansma Head of Strategy Development and Planning Wells Fargo Virtual (Digital and Contact Center) Channels
Cultivate Talent “Women in leadership have an obligation to develop business models where everyone can prosper—particularly the female millennial. When talent rises to top everyone wins. The opportunity for young women today in Irish business is immense.” Marie O’Connor Partner PwC, Ireland @mocireland
Live your Brand “Everything we do at Jive is based on our own software, resulting in an open, transparent and honest culture. We live Jive everyday. I’m proud that we “make it happen” for employees by listening, acting on feedback and consistently being a top-rated place to work.” Elisa Steele CEO & President Jive Software @elisasteele
Focus on Talent "We are “making it happen” by hiring and nurturing the strongest team and talent possible, ensuring they have all the resources and support from me and the organization to make it happen." Michele Law Chief Revenue Officer Castlight Health
Be Courageous “I think female leaders that are “making it happen” do it best with courage. It takes more courage to be innovative and curious than to stay on the same trusted path. It takes courage to deliver long-term value for customers when we live an immediate result oriented world.” Terri Funk Graham Board Director Sprouts Farmers Market @Tfggraham
Be a role model “I strive to make it happen by being the best professional I can be. For me it’s about aiming for excellence and seeing that example as the precedent and expectation for female accomplishment.” Margaret Molloy Global CMO Siegel+Gale @MargaretMolloy
www.siegelgale.com Thanks to these women executives. I’d love to hear how you are making it happen at your organization. Tweet me @MargaretMolloy Siegel+Gale is the simplicity company. We are a global strategic branding, design and experience firm.