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Dentsu Aegis Network

Be authentic, honest and recognize that we are all in this unknown together. This was the underlying message during President’s Perspective: Leading in Extraordinary Times, a virtual panel hosted by New York Women in Communications (NYWIC).

Panelists included Jacki Kelley, Dentsu Americas CEO, Judith Harrison, NYWICI President, Liz Kaplow, Founder & CEO, Kaplow Communications and Kim Kelleher, President of Advertising Sales and Partnerships at AMC Network, who came together to share advice on how leaders can guide their teams and colleagues through these unprecedented times. Here are some key insights from our Americas CEO, Jacki Kelley:

Advocate for yourself.
A major concern in the workforce is the economic downfall that we will face. Unfortunately, 55% of people who have lost their job during this time are women. It’s extremely important to advocate for yourself, reiterate your strengths and demonstrate where you're going to add value.

 “Leap into the unknown because every company, whether it be an agency, client or immediate owner will benefit from the ambidextrous skill that you get from building a new network, learning new skills, and understanding the organization in a different way. This will end up being the moment in your career that you look back on and say, ’I'm so glad I leapt into unknown pond.”

Lead with transparency.
Be vulnerable, show who you are whether that means having your children, pets, husband or wife interrupting you in a meeting or sharing some stories about your true self. In order to lead through these troubling times, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable.

“I would say it’s a leadership practice, but probably more of a human practice. Level set where you are personally and be as authentic as you can be through that. Be clear about who you are and then lead with authenticity. It sounds simple, and I know it's not.”

Communication is critical.

As leaders, being earnest in your communications is crucial. Communicate with facts and care. Always choose your words wisely. It’s also equally important to see the silver lining during these troubling times. There is a real opportunity to grow and work together.

“We have to really show up for each other. You have to create your network of solid citizens who are investing in you and vice-versa. At the same time, you have to eliminate negative additions to your life. That has been hugely helpful for me personally.”