To kick off the Kidscreen Summit, I participated on a panel facilitated by Donna Friedman Meir. The four panelists (Angela Santomero, Maggy McGuire, Tim Brooke-Hunt, Tom Lynch) were invited to share their stories and provide a perspective about leadership and what they’ve learned over the years as groundbreakers in the kids’ media field. My assignment was to provide a leadership perspective and then help the audience learn from their stories. Here’s what I learned from four great leaders in your field:
Go with the flow. Don’t over-plan and over-prepare your career. The best things may come when you least expect it! Be open to opportunities that arise unexpectedly. (Tim)
Create a vision and go for it – even if people don’t get it at first. “If people think you’re crazy, you’re probably onto something great.” (Angela)
Follow your passion and don’t let others distract you from what you know in your heart is good. (Tom)
Step up and invite others to help you create something fantastic using your shared passion and creativity. Use your creativity on the business side, too. (Maggie)
Each leader spoke about his or her career, sharing moments of revelation and fascinating tales of regrouping after a personal setback. I noticed that to a person, they modeled resilience and a willingness to write their own life stories. To a person, they spoke of moments of uncertainty, of not knowing exactly what to do next. Yet, in each case, the leader found the courage to keep going, taking a risk that, in hindsight opened big new opportunities.
The last question of the program came from the audience and was directed to Tom Lynch, who had stated that if he knew then what he knows now, he wouldn’t have worried so much. “How do you stop yourself from worrying?” asked a member of the audience. Great question! Tom laughed and said that it happens naturally as one ages. I added the idea that the best way to help yourself stop is to sit down with your fears and ask them their name. By getting them out on the table, you can break them down and begin to work with them.
As someone said to me in the final moments of the hour, “It’s amazing to hear from these distinguished people that they’ve had moments of fear or failure. I feel encouraged and inspired by that!” We’re all human.
Also, don’t miss my interview with one of the media industries most inspiring leaders, Gerry Laybourne, on Visionary Leader, Extraordinary Life on Monday, February 13 at 11:00 AM EST.