Andrea Jung is a rockstar. Frankly, anyone who is a CEO of a company of Avon’s social and financial importance for more than a decade would be. Yesterday, I saw her give a public address on leadership to an audience of largely women. She was down to earth, inspiring, and highly quotable. A few of my takeaways and their applicability to social media below:
Listen to your compass, not your clock – When Andrea Jung was passed over for CEO of Avon in 19997, it made headlines. She was offered 2 other CEO positions at other companies. It would have been easy to feel slighted or embarrassed and hop companies to earn the next checkmark on her resume. But Avon’s mission of economically empowering women inspires and connects with her. And staying true to that compass is what laid the ground work for a more meaningful, long term success to flourish.
You can’t reinvent your company if you can’t reinvent yourself -After missing earnings and falling out of favor with Wall Street, Andrea knew she was at risk of being fired in a quarter or 2. a coach advised her to “fire herself” and walk in the next day as if it was her first day at a new job. She could then approach and assess the company’s situation with fresh eyes and energy and start anew.
Proceed ethically – As Thomas Jefferson, “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.” So many business leaders have found themselves at the core of corporate scandal. They tend to be shorter lived and their shareholder value returned far lower.
“Communities have never needed companies more” – Choosing to be in the private sector does not mean you are opting out of a live of service. The public sector can not meet the needs of our country or the world – and it is up to corporate citizens to stand up and do their part for the benefit of all.
Prioritize, and be present – So many working parents are constantly making micro daily tradeoffs about family and work. They are difficult and constant. Prioritize, make your decisions and then drop the guilt. Once you are in the most important place for you to be present, you owe it to your companions to fully be there.
So much of this has direct applicability to our little social media corner of the world:
- Because we’re moving so quickly, career focus often is on quick hops and ticking title boxes instead of finding a company, team, mentor, client, mission or purpose that gives you passion. Once you’ve found that the rest will follow.
- The WOMMA ethics code is just one incarnation of a way to make sure you are swimming on the straight and narrow of the social media current.
- Social media has brought with it a massive case of divided attention syndrome. The temptation to live tweet/Facebook/document your life instead of focusing on the humans around you is very strong! Be present and see what happens…