In the age of staggering technological advancement, the stronger pull of the “next big thing,” and the gravity of the unknown, it is becoming exceedingly important to be self-aware and cognizant of the things that make our business human and creative.
On this episode of my What’s Next! podcast, I had the personal honor and pleasure of connecting with the accomplished Beth Comstock, who explains how to inspire teams, get uncomfortable, gracefully change jobs and companies, and transform a 125 year-old-brand.
Throughout her experience working in change and innovation, Beth noticed that most people are often afraid to try something new. Often, people rely on validation. That’s why it is important to give yourself permission and to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes, in order to challenge yourself, you have to get out of your own way.
One of the reasons we work hard is because of the amazing people we are surrounded by and the teamwork that helps us along the way. However, in times of change it is important to trust yourself and your strengths because in the end, they will serve you well.
We work with and for humans, our customers and audiences are human, and likewise, it is important that our leadership be just as rooted in our humanity. It is our honest and dynamic experience as human beings that will allow us, and our businesses, to thrive in a world ruled more and more by algorithms and automation.
Beth admits that she is always looking to write her next story and to live it as a courageous human being. She has learned along the way that our jobs do not define us. Who we are, the networks we create, the people we meet along the way–that’s what’s important. With each new opportunity comes the next story we will create!
When making big career decisions, sometimes your best advice can come from quite internal reflection. Of course, reaching out to your trusted network for advice is important, but knowing yourself and what you want to do in the course of your career is very personal. Beth created a decision matrix many years ago and has kept it filed away as a reminder of her journey.
Beth Comstock is a self-described change-maker who has been the President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, overseeing Ad-sales, Marketing, and Research. She led the company’s digital efforts, including Peacock Equity acquiring iVillage.com and oversaw the founding of Hulu. She was then tapped by GE to accelerate its evolution from an old-school conglomerate to a global technology-driven company. Cultivating a start-up mentality across the organization for over two decades, she was a catalyst for growth and novel thinking within GE, ultimately operating their Business Innovation unit. She was also the first female Vice Chair and first Chief Marketing Officer at GE in more than 20 years. She is a member of Nike’s board of directors and a Forbe’s World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Most recently she has become a published author with her brand new book, Imagine It Forward.