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Lynda Resnick on 21st Century Leadership

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Question:\r\nHow can a big company stay nimble?

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Lynda\r\nResnick:            Well,\r\nfirst of all, each division has its own president.  They’re a stand along company.  So FIJI has a president, POM has a… and so forth and so on.  Although we use the parent company for\r\nlegal, we have an in-house advertising agency called the Fire Station.  And they serve all the groups.  And the PR is central but then, they\r\nhave people assigned and so forth. \r\nBut each company runs in a very entrepreneurial way. 

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And\r\none of the things that’s rewarded at our companies is the entrepreneurial\r\nspirit.  So they know that that’s\r\nhow you do well by coming up with the big ideas and being entrepreneurial. 

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Question:\r\nWhat kind of manager are you?

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Lynda\r\nResnick:            Well,\r\nat this point, what I do is I have meetings with each group once a week or more\r\nif necessary. I talked to them everyday but I go in and review the work and so\r\nforth with some companies. \r\nCompanies are like people. \r\nThey have a life cycle.  And\r\nso, POM is just getting out of their toddler stage right now.  But Teleflora’s mature.  And I just had to reinvent that\r\ncompany.  So I am more involved\r\nwith Teleflora, let’s say.  I use\r\nto be the president of Teleflora, like, 24 years ago, 25 years ago. 

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But\r\nI have a great president, a great staff there but right now, they need me a\r\nlittle more.  The nut business,\r\ndoesn’t do as much advertising and marketing as the other businesses.  And so… And I’ve a very strong guide\r\nthere.  And he’s much more sales\r\norientated and does a lot with the international expansion.  So he’s fine.  He doesn’t need me so much.  And so, I go where I’m needed.  And I tend to have very big meetings, these days, at this\r\npoint in my life, with a lot of people on board so they all get the message and\r\nwe go through the agenda.  And I’m\r\nvery detail orientated.  My god is\r\nin the details.  It’s awful.  I can’t help.  But everything has the same importance.  I tried… That’s why, sometimes, my\r\nengine runs down.  People say to my\r\nhusband, “Oh, Linda has so much energy.” \r\nHe says, “You should see her at 9:30 at night.” 

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Question:\r\nWhat’s the secret to effective hiring?

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Lynda\r\nResnick:            Well,\r\nit’s very important that we can work together, obviously.  But I have learned the hard way.  That you can spend 6 months\r\ninterviewing somebody and you’ll know more the first 3 hours they’re at work\r\nthan you will ever know from these interviews.  And so, you try to do your due diligence.  It’s very hard for people to tell you\r\nthe truth where they work before but there are ways to find out how successful\r\nthey were because it’s a small world and you know and thank God for\r\nGoogle.  And you just go with your\r\ninstinct, I’m afraid, in the end. \r\nYou just do. 

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Recorded\r\non: March 17, 2009

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Roll International Co-Chair Lynda Resnick talks about ways to stay nimble in an ever-changing world and how to find and retain the best talent.

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