Natacha Rousseau: “Communicate openly and simply to effectively lead your team” with Penny Bauder

Communicate openly and simply. Do not get lost in tech jargon, speak to your team in a simple terms. Make sure your team sees that you are accessible. Roll up your sleeves with your team, get down in the trenches with them. I had the pleasure of interviewing Natacha Rousseau founder of Natacha is […]

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Communicate openly and simply. Do not get lost in tech jargon, speak to your team in a simple terms. Make sure your team sees that you are accessible. Roll up your sleeves with your team, get down in the trenches with them.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Natacha Rousseau founder of Natacha is a Belgian citizen living in Los Angeles. She is a publicist / public relations specialist supporting actors and entrepreneurs in the film, music and technology space. She is fluent in french, Italian and English.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for having me. Since I was a little girl, I wanted to work in Public Relations & Business. Even my mom has memories of my walking to middle school with a briefcase { laughter}! The idea of working in business and making presentations is deeply ingrained (more laughter).

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

The Most interesting? Well. I once was invited to a meeting with a group of very secretive Chinese investors in Burbank, California ( home of Disney). The group was quite friendly, but I could feel something was off. Hours later, after a tour of the studio and polite conversation, I was finally brought into a conference room that was filled with cigarette smoke. Windows were closed. I was led to my seat, looked up at the head of the table and noticed a man in a dark top hat and sunglasses chain smoking, drinking team and spitting into a silver bowl. He was surrounded by security and a small army of female assistants. He was very charismatic, but later found out he was wanted by international agencies from Europe to Asia.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

That’s easy. I still make mistakes and learn from them. The funniest one? Probably asking for a potential client’s autograph. I think it made everyone smile and perhaps made for a more relaxed first meeting — — but I would never do that again. Other mistakes include twirling in my chair to show off, getting dizzy and sliding off that chair.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think what makes us stand out is our work ethic. We all work extremely hard and are available 24/7 really. Also, pride ourselves on really working very closely with the client on projects from A to Z. My goal is to never make the client feel like he or she is alone. I am right there on the journey. Also, I have partners in New York and London and so have a great network I can count on.

I went through a name change and had to pivot at the end of the summer of 2019. My former business partner and I went our separate ways after a long and successful journey representing the best of the best in emerging technology and blockchain and working in that wild, wild west environment that was the ICO boom of 2016–2017. We both learned a lot together and individually by working on some of the biggest projects with very well-known personalities and entrepreneurs. That experience was very formative for me. There are mistakes and lessons from that period that guide me to this day .I make sure to never make the same mistake twice.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes, Always working on something new exciting. I am currently working on a real estate project. It will help people by making real estate transactions more seamless and less expensive.

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Are you currently satisfied with the status quo regarding women in STEM? What specific changes do you think are needed to change the status quo?

No, I think as women, we still have fight harder to achieve what men achieve. Being taken for seriously in a room full of white, older men is always a challenge. Some of the changes I think include: hiring more minority or under-represented women as executives.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women in STEM or Tech that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts? What would you suggest to address this?

It is a common circumstance that most women in an executive positions will get bullied. I hate to say it, but it is true. There will always be someone (generally a male) who will try to push a woman’s buttons one way or another. How to address it? It is tricky — I think we as women, have to stand our ground for what we believe in or what we are (re)-presenting. Also, we cannot get emotional or react to anything in business from a personal point of view. Always remember when you are in a tough position: it is not personal. Rely on your wits, emotional intelligence, remain strong and be as matter of fact as possible when you are faced with a challenging situation.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a woman in STEM or Tech. Can you explain what you mean?

That’s easy. That we are geeks, nerds, socially awkward or late bloomers. We’re intelligent, smart and gutsy to entrenched in a male dominated world, but that does not mean we lack any social grace or skill.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience as a Woman in STEM or Tech” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

-You can say anything, it is the way you say it.

-Speak nicely, calmly, genuinely and supportively

-Work hard, remain disciplined but do not neglect your personal time. Have fun!

-Take care of the people you work with (partners, clients, employees)

-Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Try to get out there as much as possible

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Find a mentor, connect with a mentor; and join other women in your field. There are many groups out there — I would wish to urge you to explore those groups and find a community for. Yourself.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Communicate openly and simply. Do not get lost in tech jargon, speak to your team in a simple terms. Make sure your team sees that you are accessible. Roll up your sleeves with your team, get down in the trenches with them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Of course. All of the women in my life (mom, siblings, aunts, cousins, friends) have helped me become strong and continue to help me to this day. There is no particular person — I have mentors and if they are reading this, they will recognize their influence in my words. I owe so much to my mentors, and yes they are female and male.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Bringing goodness by way of vibes, energy, a smile, words of comfort or wisdom is really what I live for. That warmth and feelings of support is what makes it all worthwhile. It might not be on a global scale (yet), but I like to share it in my immediate community. To reach a global scale, I work on projects and with people that are bigger than me — and the thought of collaboration tells me that my contribution reaches beyond my immediate community — for greater, more global goodness.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’m not sure I am of ‘enormous influence’, but I hope that whatever influence I may have helps people see that leading with heart full of love (for humanity, for what you do, for your peers) is enriching and nurturing. Not to sound out there, but I’d love to inspire more love in our every day. It makes us softer.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“we are all in this together” is my favorite quote of all time.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to have a private breakfast with Madonna. She’s always been my idol. If not Madonna, on a more serious note, then it would be Christiane Amanpour.

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