Beth Comstock: Empowering a Team

I imagine you've had incredible teams that have worked for you over the years. How are you able to take that change agent, courageous mind, and attitude, and empower your team with that so that they felt like they were empowered, and had permission to go out and test ideas?

Beth: Early on I was still micromanaging and trying to figure out my leadership style. I think the pivotal moment was just wanting to ask for help. I remember getting some really important feedback just as I was about be made CMO. My colleagues felt like I come in with a perfect idea, with everything done, and I don't ask for help. They didn’t like that. So it was a pivotal moment for me in the art of collaboration, and the role of feedback, and the role of us doing these things together. I just had to totally shift my mindset. I feel incredibly passionate right now that none of us really manage much, you know? We still manage people. We don't control people. We don't really manage change.

The best we can do is have a vision, fight for space, resources, room to grow, encourage, coach, empower.
With that tenacity, I fought for our budget. I was really proud when my colleagues would say “He just said no,” and I’d say, “ Well, he said not yet. I heard him say not yet.” I had a three-time rule with him. Sometimes it was a six time. One time it was a six-year rule. It’s not like I’m bold or particularly courageous, but I believed in that idea. And I think they saw me push back and say that we were going to come back. I think it helped them realize we were in it together.

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