Do you feel dizzy amid all the changes we’ve been through over the past few years? Are you looking for a way to right your ship? Me too!
A month or so ago I flew to France to attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Cannes truly is the Superbowl of marketing and advertising. The energy and creativity there is infectious!
Despite being stuck in an Airbnb without air conditioning in sweltering heat and barely any sleep for a full week this was one of the best experiences I’ve had in a while. Why? I spent the week surrounded by some of the most inspiring people who gave me countless A-HA moments that I’ve reflected on many times since.
Chief among these change-makers was Meredith Kopit Levien, the newest CEO of The New York Times. She was interviewed at the Equality Lounge hosted by The Female Quotient on career trajectory and the need to identify what is immutable to your success in this ever-changing world.
The New York Times is 170 years old and has experienced both major milestones and disruptions in their industry. When Meredith joined the executive committee she was the youngest member and one of only 3 women (and soon to be the only woman).
Meredith says that it was a big pivot to realize that they are now effectively a software company powered by collaborative and diverse talent rather than “just” a news organization. They have had to pivot from print to a digital subscription service.
As the new CEO Meredith has chosen to lead by focusing on what she calls their “immutable truth”. This is their core identity and service from which they will never pivot. Meredith has focused the organization on always contributing to 1- truth, 2- understanding and 3- without fear or favor. What fascinates me the most is what is not on that list. This is the clarity needed for long term, visionary thinking and remaining powerful through pivots.
Once this immutable truth is clear at the leadership level, it’s essential for it to permeate every level of the organization. Meredith said that to accomplish this goal she needs to be in constant communication with her teams about these foundational, simple ideals. She prioritizes 30% of her time to be in service to others. She believes that “leadership is about service. It is for creating the conditions for producing our best work. Leadership is not a vanity job. It is a service job.” Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, responded by saying that, “Leadership is not about age; it’s about action.” You don’t have to be the CEO in order to follow Meredith’s example!
Eric Schmidt has often reminded me that most of life’s opportunities come from simply showing up. Whether it’s devoting your time to mentoring or connecting with your employees or peers you need to dedicate time as a leader to preserving space for connection and inspiration. Never be too busy with meetings to bond with your team and employees and hear their ideas and frustrations.
My personal immutable truth is democratizing success. I make sure everything I do aligns with my immutable truth whether that is via one-on-one consulting, corporate training events, keynote speeches, articles like this one, or my podcast. I am committed to always showing up in ways that inspire, instruct, empower and support you through actionable education to be your best self and fulfill your wildest dreams.
Here is my challenge to you. Spend time today to identify what is your immutable truth and show up fully in that power. What do you want to remain true during different pivots, periods and balances in your life? What is your North Star contribution from which you will never pivot?
Want even more guidance?
I consult with executive teams on c-suite optimization. I have been a catalyst, activator, and actualizer for some of the world’s most impactful, change-making CEOs for the last two decades. This guide is just the tip of the iceberg on how to create a partnership like this of your own.
Let me know what remaining questions you have. I’d love to help!