This summer, I sat down with Jane Williams, Executive Vice President of Television at Cox Media Group. Williams has this saying, a motto, if you will; one that embodies who she is as a person and shows how she has risen to such prominence today.
So, what’s this motto, you ask? One that she even hung up on her wall. It goes a little something like this:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel.” -Maya Angelou
And boy, is it true. Though the girls won’t forget what Mrs. Williams said (they took detailed notes, of course) they definitely won’t ever forget how empowered she made them feel, especially as two young women entering the work force (no notes needed there).
Here’s what I learned:
- Always do the right thing
What’s the difference between managers and leaders? Managers do things right. But leaders do the right thing. There’s a difference there, and that difference is key.
- Never run from conflict
Don’t be afraid of conflict. Address the problem head-on; there’s no point in running from the inevitable, you’re going to have to deal with the issue eventually. Even if you simply agree to disagree, at least you’re not avoiding the problem.
- A good sense of humor can go a long way
When faced with difficult situations or discussions, Williams likes to use her humor to diffuse the situation and lighten the mood. The opportunity to make someone smile is priceless, she says. And what better way to do that than laughter.
- Life’s a dance
Some people say life’s not a destination, it’s a journey. But Jane has a different saying: life’s a dance. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t have a great time while dancing? Exactly… So dance everyday; enjoy it.
- Focus on making your boss look good **Hey Alex, YOU’RE THE BEST!!!**
Yup, that’s her philosophy. But you see, the trick is you can’t do it for a promotion; you need to do it because you genuinely care. Eventually, your hard work and good morale will give you a good name in the industry. And before you know it, people will be tapping on your shoulder asking you to make them look that good. So really it’s a win, win.
Thank you, Jane Williams, for being a true inspiration for the future of the business.
-Lauren Sloan, NewsON Intern