Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?
Tracey: Many would be surprised to know that I’m in the entertainment industry, but I don’t really like being in the spotlight. I prefer working behind the scenes in a creative capacity.
Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
Tracey: I have always been a hardworking entrepreneur. I was raised in a single parent household for many of my childhood years and we were often faced with financial challenges. We often struggled to make ends meet so I got my first job when I was only 13 years old. At age 13, I looked and acted very mature for my age, so I was hired to be a receptionist for a mortgage company where my mom worked. When I was 16, I went to Stanford University on a scholarship, but also worked 2 jobs to cover my books and meals. Those experiences forced me to establish self-discipline and a strong work ethic at an early age and I’ve been working ever since. I went on to be a music publisher, record label head, TV/film producer, and now I have a lifestyle brand.
Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader?
Tracey: I think that an effective leader leads without ego. No job should be too small or too big for a leader and they need to be willing to get into the trenches with their team. Leaders need to lead with clear communication, optimism, and enthusiasm. Positive energy and passion goes a long way on a team.
Adam: How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?
Have a clear vision.
Have effective communication
Serve as a role model
Execute in accordance with your values
Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans
Maintain a positive attitude and motivate others
Continue to learn and grow
Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
Lead by example. If you set a tone of professionalism, dedication, diligence, courtesy, and respect, your team will follow.
Communicate effectively and respectfully. Effective communication is paramount. Great leaders know how to make sure that their messaging is heard and understood, but they also know that communication is a two-way street and that it is also important to listen to others. Healthy working relationships ARE important so be emotionally intelligent in your communications and remember to be effective, but kind.
Be productive by setting definitive goals and action steps, then execute them.
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
Tracey: My father told me when I was very young to “Stay true to yourself.” So much uneasiness in life and so many bad outcomes happen from making decisions that go against what you know in your core, your gut to be right. It is SO important to listen to your intuition on things and to NEVER do anything you really don’t want to do or know is the wrong thing to do just to please others or to follow “group think.” I have never been afraid to be a unicorn.
Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?
Tracey: We ALL have the ability to make a difference. It sounds so simple, but if everyone just did ONE selfless act every day, the world would be a better place. Selflessness is showing concern for the well-being of others. We never know how even one small act of kindness towards another could have a huge positive impact on their life.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Tracey: My biggest hobby is travel. I studied overseas in Florence, Italy when I was 18 years old on an exchange program at Stanford University. I lived in Florence for 6 months and learned all about Renaissance art. I was also blessed to have traveled all over Europe on the weekends. It was a life-changing and eye-opening experience for me. I credit that experience for making me “worldly” and giving me a profound appreciation for art, architecture, history, and other cultures. To this day, my sons and I take at least one vacation abroad somewhere so we can venture out and explore other cultures, their history, and their art.
Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Tracey: I love the saying “Your attitude determines your altitude.” When you keep it POSITIVE, you will stay lifted and RISE.