Nina DiSesa: What leadership skills are important in a creative industry?
Nina DiSesa has worked in the quintessential boys clubs of advertising for almost thirty years. In 1994, she became the first woman EVP, Executive Creative Director for McCann Erickson New York, the flagship office of the largest advertising agency in the world. Under her creative leadership, the New York office enjoyed an unprecedented 5-year growth period adding almost $2.5 billion in billings. In 1998, she was made Chairman as well as Chief Creative Officer of McCann New York. She was the first woman and first creative director to be named chairman in the McCann global network.
In 1999, Nina was chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.” In 2005, she received the Matrix Award, given each year to a select group of women in communication. In 2007, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for CEBA (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising).
Nina DiSesa: Well you have to have some creative credentials yourself otherwise people aren’t going to trust your judgment. We as a creative act you constantly sending people back to their offices to come up with better ideas, to dig deeper and to keep working at something. If don’t have some kind of creative cache or you haven’t impress them with your own creative ability, they are not going to want to listen to you, although they always comeback after being sent away with something even better, and I think most creative people, the creative directors who send them back keep digging and come up with better ideas, other one so they cherish, the easy ones that accept everything may do are the ones that don’t make an impression on it. So you have to have a little bit of strength there to be able to keep sending them back, if they are not doing good enough work and sometimes they just send themselves back, that’s ideal when you have developed an environment where they not going to come to you with ideas until they really dug with that deepest where the gold is.
Recorded on: 2/29/08
You have to have some creative credentials yourself, DiSesa says.