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Pride as a Culture

Despite the ever evolving and changing face of media, and the erosion of audience that most legacy media is experiencing, there is much to be proud of in regard to personal achievement in all forms of media. I’ve witnessed it first hand during these first few months of the year. Podcast Movement Evolutions in March, the NAB in April, recently while speaking to college students as a part of RAB’s National Radio Talent System. I’ve seen it at the Radio Ink Hispanic Conference and The Alliance for Women in Media Gracies Gala in Los Angeles in May.

You can see it in the faces of nominees for CMA and ACM Broadcast Awards. Likewise for the recent inductees announced for the Country Radio Hall of Fame and for the nominees of the National Radio Hall of Fame. We’ll see it later this fall when the Marconi Award nominees are announced by the NAB. It is a special moment to be acknowledged by your peers. Recognition for our performances, accomplishments and success is one of the many measures we use when looking back on our careers.

Last week the Alliance for Women in Media hosted the 48th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon in NYC. The event drew over 300 attendees to honor content designers and talent who were recognized for their creation of programming For Women, By Women or About Women. I am honored to be a Board Member for the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation and to serve as a Gracie’s Co-Chair with my fellow Co-Chairs Annie Howell, Chief Communications Officer at Hallmark Media and Heather Cohen, EVP/The Weiss Agency.

What I saw at the luncheon were women whose accomplishments deserved acknowledgment. What I’ve seen these past few months magnified for me that there remains a strong pride and satisfaction inside our business for those that are succeeding. Those that are purpose driven. Those who realize what a privilege it is to be employed in a profession you love, regardless of the profession. Those who are perfecting their craft more so than executing a job. Much of that comes from within the individual themselves, but it also comes from those workplaces that foster a culture encouraging pride. It’s a shame that it isn’t everywhere in our business, but it is where you’ll find success.

When faced with building or rebuilding a positive culture, I always start by taking an anthropological approach. That is to allow myself time to get to know the people, understand their systems and learn about the history of the business. “Hmmm. What an interesting culture these villagers have.” Put that knowledge against the goals and objectives of the station and evaluate the team members strengths and weaknesses in regard to achieving success. Share with the team what success looks like. Otherwise, how will you know when it has been achieved?

Leadership is pointing to the mountaintop, telling your team what it means to reach the peak, what the reward will be upon arrival, and how you’re going to get there. Then it’s leading them. Great leaders lead from the front. The goals are defined clearly. The assignments are well thought out. Communication is clear and open for discussion. Execution has definition to it. Deadlines are established. Team members are held accountable. Make the journey fun. Leave your ego tied-up outside on the hitching post. Most importantly, acknowledge and reward accomplishment.

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