What would you do if your direct reports came to you demanding your resignation? Would you cave in, cry a river, or learn and keep moving on? Maybe you’d learn to tell your employees you believe in them, encourage their success, and let them know that you care. You might even move on to convince Oprah to start her own magazine! You can hear the entire story from Cathie Black, the first female publisher of a magazine, president of USA Today and former president of Hearst Magazines.
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You can read the transcript here!
Steve: hello and welcome to the manager mojo podcast today, and I am really thrilled to have as our guest today, Cathie Black. Cathie is the author of basic black the essential guide for getting ahead at work and in life and Cathie is quite an accomplished professional and has had so much success. Now I know you guys are going to truly learn a lot from her today. Cathie has done so many things, she’s the first ever female publisher of Weekly News Magazine, it was a New York magazine. She was recruited to be the president of the then USA Today and has been accredited for turning it around to become the success it became. She has been president of Hearst magazines and has actually launched an supervised many magazines you and I are familiar with including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Esquire and even persuaded Oprah to launch O magazine and maybe she’ll share a little bit of how she did that, she’s got to have been persuasive to have done that. She was currently just elected to the Board of Directors of Pubmatic she joins them from being Chairman of Hearst magazines and she’s served on many other boards, so Cathie I just want to welcome you today and thank you for joining us on the manager mojo podcast.
Cathie: Thank you Steve, I’m delighted to have been asked to do this, and having been in management in one capacity or another since I was 28 years old, which is a heck of a long time ago, I hoped I would have learned some things along the way that I would be delighted to share with your wrapped listeners.
Steve: I can assure you, you’ve got many things to share. And I want to say as well I am the proud father of two young adult, really aggressive women and I’m also the grandfather of three grand-daughters. I don’t have any sons or grand-sons yet and I raise my daughters to be aggressive, take charge business ladies just like you and I know the wisdom you’re going to share today is going to help all of them.
Cathie: if you will also give them a copy of the book, it’s now in paperback
Cathie: and one of the reasons that I wrote Basic Black a couple years ago was that, forever, I’ve been in business and was often told I was a role-model; I was a mentor. And I really wanted to be able to give what I considered to be a portable mentor, kind of tips that I’ve learned along the way and the mistakes that I’ve made and so I think we can talk about some of those things along the way and I’m delighted to do it.
Steve: Oh I look forward to hearing those. I want to start; because I’ve certainly looked at your book and read your book, and there are so many pearls of wisdom in there, uh but, one of the things that I want to start with is; back when you first started, tell me how you saw yourself before you became a manager and what really motivated you to get into leadership positions.
Cathie: first of all, I was 28 when I became a manager for the first time. I had been on the advertising sales staff of the New York magazine just as a kid out of college (I was an English major in college). I was always very interested in the media, we didn’t even call it media back then, but I was interested in publishing, communications and public relations. That’s has been the area that I have spent my career. I was in Ad sales and then Ms Magazine, a very controversial feminist magazine that was launching in January of ’92 and there were very few women in New York City that had any experience in advertising sales, it was a very male dominated business at that point in time. I got to know the publisher of the magazine because New York magazine was helping to launch it and pay for the printing etc. and she asked me if I would consider being the advertising manager, this was after a series of interviews and I was so thrilled hearing about the title of ad manager, I mean manager to me meant a big deal as opposed to being a person on a sales staff. I’ve always been very ambitious, very driven, always wanted to work, and always worked in high school and college. I didn’t necessarily have to do it financially. So I became the ad manager at Ms, literally when the first issue came out on the newsstands and I was 28 and I managed six other women all of whom thought they should have my job and managed to make my chair a hot one for quite a period of time but it was a wonderful experience because truly it was like being dropped off the high dive into an empty pool. Admittedly, it was on a much simpler level to manage five people etc. but still, no one said this is how you manage and these are the mistakes you’re going to make and I understand why you did this or why didn’t you do that, and I had a really tough time and I talk about this in Basic Black, because the ad team most of them were give or take about my age, demanded I come to a meeting and they basically insisted that I quit and I was so flabbergasted, I thought I was an excellent manager. They began to tell me all of the things that they thought were terrible about the way that I was managing them and if you’ve ever been in sales, what do you want when someone comes back to the office, I mean what is your first question? Did you get the sale? What they didn’t appreciate about my approach to their contribution or whether they were being successful or not, was that I was driving them crazy. It was all just a big open bull-pen and I had a little, tiny office. You know, I’d be in there a hundred times a day, how’d it go? What did you say? What’s going to happen? On and on and on. And I guess I really was not listening to them and also, not experienced enough to realize that every person is not the same. One person’s needs in terms of coaching, mentoring, hands on involvement is another person’s antithesis. They are going to be just fine if you leave them alone and they are going to get the job done. In time, number one I did not quit; and they told me things about my personality that I didn’t like to hear, they thought I was bossy…
Steve: Did you feel like you were bossy?
Cathie: well I remember back to a 7 year old birthday party when my mother would say, Cathie you are very bossy with your friends. So I guess that that is perhaps a tendency of mine, but I felt like it was sort of my way or the high way and again, you know, at the end of the day, every manager, every leader, they want to feel a part of the team. They all don’t operate in the same exact way and so you have to believe in them, you have to encourage them you have to bring them up short when something isn’t really going right because if you go into sales, your success is really black and white. Did you get it, did you not get it. If you didn’t get it what’re you going to do to get it? It’s there, in dollars and cents. Which is one of the reasons I’ve always, especially for women, of course there’s politics in any kind of organization, but, when you’re able to prove that you are really able to deliver results; I’ve always said over and over that networking is wonderful, it’s great, but, guess what, you’re going to succeed by the results that you deliver. That is why you’re hired that is what your job is about. And that’s what I like about sales, especially for women when so many doors were closed decades ago, when you’re in sales you can prove that i really did this.
Steve: yeah I mean you were doing it by your results, by the way I’m listening to you and I’m smiling and laughing right along with you because that was exactly what happened to me as well.
Steve: Oh yeah. I was as bossy as I could be and I also wrote about that in my book, Manager Mojo, that I truly thought everybody was just as driven and ambitious as I was. It came as a tremendous shock to me that other people weren’t.
Cathie: It’s very true, it’s very true.
Steve: Well you know the cool thing is that you listened and you began to learn a little bit about how to adjust. The cool thing is that once we’re doing that people are more than willing to help us understand, whenever they feel like we care don’t they.
Cathie: Absolutely! And you know, you do care. I think that, at the end of the day, is what has been my DNA. I care about the products I’m representing. I am very proud of the magazines I’m representing either singly, or later on, in terms of an entire portfolio. But I care, so it was always hard to imagine why they didn’t care as much as I did. Why didn’t they want to be there another hour if we could work on the sales presentation a little more effectively, if we could rehearse it one more time, or if we could learn more about the clients that we were representing the following day or whatever it was? You have to temper your aggressiveness, and I’ve never tempered my ambition, but you learn how to present better, you learn how to be more effective, and also to appreciate that it isn’t only about you. It really is about the team. You can’t be a leader if you don’t have followers.
Steve: was there ever an AHA moment for you that said, I know what they’re looking to me for? Did you ever maybe have that kind of experience that says I’ve got to look at myself and I’ve got to change the way I present myself?
Cathie: The Ms experience certainly was like a branding on my forehead for me, like wow! Am I really that way? Now I don’t think I was a monster, I’ve never been a yeller, I’ve never been a screamer. I’ve always treated people with respect, that’s how I was brought up. Shortly after that experience at Ms, when they wanted me to resign, the publisher of the magazine asked a consultant to have breakfast with me and she was quite well known at the time, she was a professor at Simmonds College in Washington, had gone to Harvard Business School. She was an unusual woman, but very, very thoughtful. And she called me and said I want to have breakfast with you (this was only like a week or two later) and I was still very distraught about the whole experience and so we sat down for breakfast in a little diner in New York City, and she named one of the people on the sales staff who was really a troublemaker and she began the conversation by saying, look, I understand that Mary Smith (not her name) is a very difficult human being. You have to get over that. And it was like a light bulb went off, like, Oh, am I not the only one who is finding her impossible to deal with? And you know, it is the learning experience to know, it’s granular, you have to have a few experiences with it; certain individuals are toxic. Like the flu in a room. And they can have an impact on a young team or a team that is just beginning to coalesce and take it into an entirely different direction. And you have to neutralize them, or if you have the authority in time, they have to move on. They can really decimate all of the good things that are happening because then I think that other people begin to, well they are human beings, they siding on this side, siding on that side but anyways, she began to, well she started the conversation by saying Mary Smith is impossible, now let’s talk about you and what you’re going to do about your behaviour. What have you learned from all of this, and it was incredibly instructive and I think it made me feel much better, that I wasn’t quite the person they had painted that I was going to have to figure out a way to work around her. You learn that with experience, but it was quite an experience for me, it stayed with me for, well it was quite a long time ago.
Steve: Those circumstances are embedded in our heads aren’t they?
Cathie: they do, they do.
Steve: Well one of the rules that you actually proposed, and you wrote a wonderful article about in O! Magazine, about the 7 rules to follow, in one of those you said, learn how to not take things personally that aren’t personal. You were sharing a little about that there just a moment ago, but if you could just expand on that for a little if you don’t mind.
Cathie: Well, I think, particularly for women, we’ve been more or less taught to be nice and we were always trying to be popular and wanted and so an awful lot of people take things that happen in the office very personally. And sometimes something’s are an affront to you and can be taken personally but then it’s understandable to be upset but a lot of other things, frankly, just roll off of most guys’ backs. They don’t even think twice about it. And women are thinking about well, the look on his face or the look on her face or his behaviour or he’s abrupt at this or didn’t give me full time or whatever. And years ago, I remember an executive come flying into my office with just a red face and she was just so upset, what was the matter? And she was I wasn’t invited to that meeting! My office was like the line to the bakery, like what meeting are we talking about? And she said the blah blah meeting, and I said I have no idea I don’t even know if it’s on my calendar, but if it’s important just go to it and she sort of blubbered, what do you mean go to it? I wasn’t invited! And I said, number one: everybody is invited by email, no one knows who’s on that list. Walk in the door and if you feel like you belong to it go to it and don’t take it personally. I’m sure it was an oversight by someone and of course she goes and announces she’s taking over the meeting and no one even knows if she was invited or not. So that’s a small example, but I think it’s important to distinguish between something that should be able to make you upset and something in which you are really, really over reacting.
Steve: oh absolutely, and what a great example! I think that so many managers, both male and female don’t really understand sometimes that nobody’s going to sit around a wait for you to step up and do what you need to do, you have to decide that yourself and requires a certain level of maturity and understanding of your role.
Cathie: Yes, absolutely. And I’ve often said to people that it’s not exactly the point you’re making, which I think is a great one, but also I’ve said if you’re the leader, you’re the boss, other people are always looking at you for, how do you look? Are you mad, are you happy, are you sad, are you ticked off? I remember saying to a couple of senior colleagues at Hearst, one time we were having a big meeting about something, and I said now look, just remember we walk out of this office the assistants up and down the aisle are looking at our body language, our behaviour, the looks on our faces; so it’s like, paint a happy face if you come out of whatever had been a very difficult discussion and just let everybody think things are fine cause if they’re not then they start telling somebody else and then all of a sudden something that might’ve been small just takes on a life of its own. So I thin, understanding all of the dynamics of what’s going on in addition to just doing your job, well there’s a whole lot of other stuff there’s an additional layer on the outside that people are really thinking a lot about.
Steve: No question about it. Now, it brings me to a topic here that we’re just dancing around but I want to hit it head on. I believe, just like you do, I know years ago it was much, much more difficult for women to be successful in the way that you’ve become. What I want to know is, what was the transition point for, when did you decide that, look, I get this. It’s just up to me to step up and be myself and to be the very best that I can be and let the chips fall where they may. What happened that caused you to say, ok you don’t like me at first, you want me to quit, I didn’t quit, I persevered, but yet you decided to move forward and your career decided to take off, was there a transition point there?
Cathie: well I’d go back for a minute, I think that I am a courageous person, and as I’ve said earlier I’ve always been in a good way, driven to succeed. I’ve liked working, I’ve liked an office environment, all of those types of things that used to seem important. But when I was probably 23 and a half, so I was a peon on the ad staff of a magazine called Holiday, my boss quit, or rather resigned to take up a position at another magazine and that’s quite common in the magazine business and so our little department ran all of the ads at the back of a travel magazine, so I made an appointment with the publisher, who of course was a man at that time, and I went in and I pitched for this woman’s position. She as the director of the department. And he seemed a little startled, and I told him the reasons why I thought I was able to take over her responsibilities and she was probably 10 or 12 years older than me, probably a little more and he said he’d give it some thought. And about 2 or 3 days later I heard from him we had another meeting and then he said that I will take your salary from x to x. Now, I made so little money back then that it was embarrassing to even talk about it and he offered me a little bit more money, maybe like 1500 dollars or something like that and, I don’t know where this came from but I said to him, you know, Mr. Something, I have a pretty good knowledge of what Phyllis was making and I must tell you that I was really thinking that that was what we would be talking about. Now mind you, that was probably another 10,000 dollars. And his face turned purple. I know that he had to have been thinking it, who is this little whipper-snapper? He was just startled. That I had the nerve to ask for more money, and so the lesson here is, if you don’t ask, you’re not going to get and you may not get as much as what you want. Now of course I did not get 10,000 dollars but let’s just say he added another 1000 or something like that.
Steve: which is money you wouldn’t have gotten if you had not asked!
Cathie: No kidding, that’s exactly right. And I’ve always said to not just to young people, look you have to think through when you believe you want more money and wanting it is not a good enough excuse. Your issues with money are not my problem, I’m the boss here and I’ve got to spread that money around a lot of people so you’ve got to choose your timing and choose what your positioning is going to be. It was such little money back then that they felt like probably if they had gone on the open market that they would’ve paid some guy a lot more but it was great learning and I think that many people, many men as well as women, especially women are not good at negotiating.
Steve: why do you think women are not as good at negotiating?That’s always bugged me that I’ve always believed, I guess different from my generation, in that the job itself should determine the compensation. I didn’t care whether you were male or female, but very few women would negotiate. Why do you believe they don’t negotiate?
Cathie: I think it goes all the way back to how we were brought up. We were brought up to be, not that I necessarily was, more compliant, more accepting, more grateful. Gloria St……… once said that women had a terminal case of gratefulness. We got a little bit of the crumbs and we were so happy to get the crumbs that we didn’t even think of going for the whole loaf. Whether that comes out of team sports, there’s probably a million different psychological reasons for it. So I think that most women don’t want to make trouble, they feel a little embarrassed as opposed to thinking I’ve earned this I’ve got a great track record. I’ve got every reason to be able to say gee this is my concept of where it should be. So I don’t think this is much, I know there is still discrimination for men vs women salaries I think that’s has changed certainly from when I was there, but for sure it is there in some categories and sectors and things like that. But at the end of the day I like to think, what is the worst that can happen. You need to think of that in advance because you don’t want to push yourself into a corner. You know, you’ve just stated your case and a person says I’m sorry that’s just not going to happen well then you accept it and you can either say I’m going to move on or I think I’m going to make more money . Or you can say, you know, think through alright let’s just say it’s September, and budgets generally are gone by the second half of the year and certainly times have been so much tougher in the economy of the last couple years but you could well could we re-address this in December or at the end of the year or early in January because then there’s another 4-6 months and then it’s in the budget or something like that and then if it happens another time the n you have to say to yourself ok how important is this money to me and if it doesn’t happen then I’ve always felt if it doesn’t happen you have two choices. You can sit there and be grumpy or you can pick yourself up by your bootstraps and think through a new strategy. [
Steve: Absolutely, it’s to understand and project ahead of time really how it’s gonna go. [30:02]
[30:03] Cathie: Right and that’s exactly why we think negotiating is a skill, it’s not anything to be afraid of or to be embarrassed about and I think that the women in particular the embarrassment part of it is like “oh should I be doing this?” You know? Some funny little body language and all of that.
Steve: Well you know I’m pleased to say that in all my years you’re the only other person I’ve heard that had the exact same experience I had. I did that myself when I was in college. I was working my way through a building materials store and I went and told the business owner that I was worth more money and I told him exactly how much more I was worth because I was doing the same job as everyone else but I was making just a little tiny fraction and it was so funny because he looked at me and he said well, I just don’t think you’re worth it, and I said well, I understand that, I accept that, but I want you to know I will perform and you watch my performance and if you determine that I am performing at the same level I’ll leave it in your hands. Well the funny thing was that I got the money, but he never once told me “hey you deserve the money so I gave it to you”.
Cathie: That’s a great learning story.
Steve: So you know it’s the negotiation to constantly re-evaluate yourself and understand your value to the organization and, it does take courage but it’s a skill, it’s to say “this is what I thought about, this is what I believe” and then back it up with evidence I think if more people would do that whether male or female they’d be more content with what they’re doing.
Cathie: I think your point about evidence was very good one. You know a while back one might do a memo for whoever you’re going in to negotiate with it could be a summary of your accomplishments over the last year or a budget or products developed or launches or whatever, but today I feel like there isn’t a lot of preparation of something like that and so, often somebody might have written me a 2 page memo and I’ll go “wow” I didn’t know they did all this. And sometimes you forget when your managing your team and all that so I think the idea of presenting the evidence, ideally on a piece of paper, that somebody ideally would have read before you walked into the meeting to discuss this. I think part of it also is trying to figure out what’s the best time of day to give something like this. I mean you can’t be I somebody’s office once a month saying “Welllll…..” with this sort of pull back approach in your behaviour, so it’s a combination of a lot of things.
Steve: Very, very cool. Well tell me from your perspective what would be one or two things that you would advise women to do to prepare themselves for that leadership position.
Cathie: First of all its not going to happen overnight so one is probably going to have some steps that they can take like going from managing 5 people to 25 or leadership development and going for courses and things like that. A lot of stuff just kind of came by experience because those kinds of opportunities didn’t exist until much later in my career, but I would say to people chose a company that you believe in that you are in sync with their values because the kind of time and effort that you’re going to put into a place should fit what you’re about because to be a superior manager you have to care about people, and that you need followers and that they want to believe in wherever it is that you are going. It is your job as a top leader to inspire people to show them a vision, to show them to have a mission, to lay out the plan of how to get from here to there and why, the benefits, to not be afraid to take chances, to raise their hand to say “I will do that” or “I will relocate” or ”I will go to that division “, to broaden their general training . Too often industries are narrow in what they’re doing and say well “she was in ad-sales or media so she can’t go to general electric” some people are so unbelievably trained they can go from light bulbs to insurance but it’s always best to try to keep very clear in your mind, as the leader what you’re going to evaluate on and I keep going back to results count but nothing can stay the same. So if you’re not looking down the road, as its your mangers job to do, at potential competition and new product development and strong technology investments all the new things that are some much more prominent in today’s world you’re going to all of a sudden hit a road block at which you’re just kind of spinning. So it means developing your skill set devolving the people around you. I love the phrase “A’s higher A’s, B’s Higher C’s” and you can’t run a business on B’s and C’s. I just finished read a book called Jeff Basils Biography called “The everything store” and I was incredibly struck with his uncanny drive to always improve the team. Now perhaps some might say he lacks the empathy gene. I mean he could have had an incredible team around him I mean 24/7 Christmas day, Thanksgiving night, the whole deal and then say to Joe Shmoe “Sorry, Goodbye” and so he’s always upping game. And I don’t mean to be really tough on your people but he is always looking ahead thinking I need bigger bandwidth. I need another individual to fill this job and not be afraid to get rid of “the shed”. That’s a really tough approach but it got them to where they are today.
Steve: That’s a fantastic example and many managers don’t understand the simple principle “if you don’t know where you’re going how will you know when you’re there?”
Cathie: Yes exactly. You have to be able to measure the clear milestones for your own sense of accomplishment to say I did that and check it off or I did this and check it off. When I came to Hurst we hadn’t really cleared out our portfolio in a zillion years, we hadn’t launched any magazines with any great depth and we hadn’t acquired anything. And I just thought this portfolio is unbelievable. How can you take the Cosmo, Harper’s BAZAAR, Town & Country Popular Mechanics which is one of the oldest magazines in the country in fact when people ask me what’s my favourite magazine in the Hearst portfolio when I was there and I would always say Popular Mechanics cause it’s fun to get a little chuckle out of an audience and get me out of trouble. I mean that’s really the fun of being a leader. It’s that you can do the project development, which is so exciting, you can bring great people, you can start a new division and then you can honour the people who helped to build the business.
Steve: Absolutely it’s all a part of that team building process that you’re going through. Now you brought up looking at the portfolio I don’t want us to forget to talk a little bit about what prompted you to encourage Oprah to do a magazine.
Cathie: That’s a great question I love to talk about it. It had been rumoured that Oprah had been approached to do a magazine by couple different other companies. She had been on the cover of most women’s magazines once or twice if not many times so one of our people who was the editor of good housekeeping at the time reached out to someone in her company and to make a long story short we got an appointment six or seven weeks out with no guarantee Oprah herself would be there and we prepared for that meeting the way I have never prepared for anything and we had such a blast doing it because we were doing things that we hadn’t done in ages we did the oral presentation we did cover samples text and font samples we did name samples we rehearsed. The meeting was going to be in Chicago so we flew out a day early because this was not one meeting where I wanted to say we got stuck on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport because of a snow storm because it was in January, and we went on and on, we even stuffed the envelops ourselves for the 6 people that were invited to the meeting.
So we got it done the night before and we were so excited like little kids. And so the next morning we had the meeting in a small conference room. She had just finished taping at 11o’clock and there were four or five of her people there, including the then general manager and we kind of made small talk, not quite sure she was going to come at all, and then she blows in with a smile like a 100 watt bulb and the smartness of this other editor that was with me she’d said you know if we really think about it, Oprah is a very visual person, she’s just in television. So we had gone out and done this Johnny-on-the-spot interview at a couple of shopping malls. We would find women and say “are you a fan of Oprah Winfrey” and they’d scream and yell and clap and then we ask “do you watch her show” and “what you would do if she did a magazine” and they’d swoon. And so we started the meeting turning on this two and a half minute video, and honestly we were working with the production value of the early days of YouTube, but the meeting started on a high and honestly, it’s a great move for people in sales or people who present. That is, trying to put yourself in the body of the receiver of the information.
She’s a television personality and you have no idea if she reads magazines, so start with something she knows and then bring her around. We had wonderful responses looking at paper samples; they were wonderful paper samples, because we knew she’d care about quality. We showed her some covers (we didn’t put her on any covers). We had different names although we were hoping she’d say Oprah. It was wonderful.
At the end of it she said “Well I can tell that if I do a magazine I will do it with Hearst, but I have to pray on it” and I’m thinking PRAY ON IT?! I want a yes! But she said if I do a magazine I will do it with Hearst so we of course had a great ending to the meeting. Ellen and I left her office and it’s a long flight of stairs down and we got out onto the street and into our taxi and we went “YES!”
We had a few months of negotiation back and forth but we really were (not contractually), fifty-fifty partners. She gave it her all and she’s been on every cover for all of these years and it was the thrill of a lifetime. I have the utmost respect for her. And the magazine Cosmo has always been the number one producer in Hearst portfolio but overnight Oprah became number two and they’ve been neck and neck for years. So it was great story and a great learning experience for us. It was very instructable, how to think through every possible response that she might have we wanted to have an answer for.
Steve: What a fantastic story but I’m thinking through this and I’m reliving this experience with you and realizing how important it really is for all of us to really think through really what we’re doing and why were doing it and that lesson can be applied in every managers or every leaders career they have to look at that vision and find out what are the really looking to do and you were literally putting yourselves in her seat how awesome is that I can only imagine how awesome you guys were.
Cathie: We were totally thrilled and yet we knew this was a business relationship. Another great experience I had was with her general manager and lawyer at the time. As we negotiated and drew up the contract, which was a challenge, he said we would have a contract that would be many many many pages but he said you have to know that this contract will go into the third drawer and never be looked at again. The process of getting to that point meant that we were starting out as partners and hadn’t just gotten the license to do it. People ask me why not just have her license her name and I say well it’s going to have her name on it people aren’t going to think Hearst, they’re going to think of Oprah Winfrey. It’s her cover, it’s her face, it’s her magazine, she should care about it and it should be of such quality and importance and breadth of editorial that she’s passionate about it. So it was wonderful.
Steve: Well congratulations on that fantastic experience and thank you for sharing that. I appreciate it. What would you really recommend that people think about and do that would leapfrog them in to true leadership positions, to get them to take advantage of their talents and move forward and live a great life?
Cathie: I think your last word was very important. It’s one of the reasons I talked about having a 360 degree life. An old phrase said “You can love your job but your job wont love you back” When one gets disappointments, fired, didn’t get the raise or the promotion, you realize you need a life outside of work and I think it’s harder today in the 24/7 totally connected world that we have. But I’ve been blessed with having a wonderful husband of 32 years 2 children in their early twenties and a full life and I’ve felt that’s extremely important I’ve never left my office at 5oclock but it’s not about what time you leave or what time u get in you should be over that but you want feel when you’re looking at a company on new assignment you want people to believe in whoever is that leader you want them to believe in the products you are producing you want to believe in the values of the company because eat the end of the day you’re attaching your name to something and you don’t want to find out four months later that they aren’t ethical or shoddy or it’s not what you imagined it to be, though nothing is perfect for heaven’s sake but you want it to be to the best of your ability. I say to young people all the time go to speeches or career panels or whatever. You know those “I don’t know what I want to do’s, sometimes I’ll want to say follow your passion but everyone may not know how to answer that question they may not have a passion that they can transfer into business world but everyone certainly has something they like doing something they’re good at. If you like something you’re going to be good at it you’re going to put more time into it.
Now not every first job is gloriously fulfilling but you might be the best person in the supply clerks area, just like Steve was talking about his job awhile ago or my itty bitty job of ad-sales, but I wanted to succeed at every turn and as you grown in that, getting bigger jobs or a different kind of company and you can go “I want to be in technology because that’s where the action is”. You know having that courage to say alright I’m going to change jobs. What you don’t want to do is leave one job without having another. So you might have to go learn those skills on your own. You might have to go to school at night; you might have to get your MBA in a summer program or one of those kinds of things you know. It isn’t rocket science you know. I remember an old boss of mine once saying she used to admire person x or y because she thought they were so smart and then you move higher up the food chain and realize they’re not any smarter than you are, they might have more experience and they might have different ways of doing things but you’re darn smart and it’s about having that confidence and that confidence builder is very important because when you’re confident it comes out in how you present yourself in how you walk and how you talk and how you feel, and when you feel confident people buy into whatever it is that you’re saying.
Steve: Isn’t that wonderful. Cathie I thank you so much. What a great expression of excellence today that we’ve heard. Thank you for your commitment to excellent every single day, your example is an inspiration to all of us. And I certainly want to encourage all of our listeners to make sure they pick up a copy of the book Basic Black. There’s so much wisdom there and I thank you for sharing that. We wish you the very most success in your business ventures as well as your life. Thank you for joining us today.
Cathie: Well, thank you Steve. It’s been very interesting to listen to your words of wisdom as you close out. One of the subjects that we were talking about and that I want to bring back to the audience because, you know it is the take aways that someone listening today can jot a note down or think about that in terms of their own life or situation, good or not so good. But hopefully there has been some useful wisdom as well. You know I’ve worked for probably forty years and you know, you do gain wisdom as you move ahead and it doesn’t happen overnight when you’re 23 but hopefully for smart people they pick up the method of observing how other people manage and lead and pick the best of what they think is the best and what fits their personality and body type and the way they do things that fits them the best. It’s been a pleasure.
Steve: Awesome. It’s been so much pleasure, thank you so much for joining us today.
Cathie: Thank you.