Nina DiSesa: What lessons have you learned from working in a
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: I had the biggest half for me as a women working in boys clubs was that I couldn’t, even though I was angry be an equity of the business or I would be angry at the way a man would treat me or other women, I couldn’t really show that and if I got angry if they saw my anger, they would just close down and not listen to me and not really regard me. I have to learn my big epiphany was to try and find something that I really loved about the men, something really enduring and concentrate on that, so that I could manipulate the situation. Men will respond to kindness and affection and praise much quicker then they will respond to yelling at them and telling them that they did something wrong and I kind of learn this when I was really young. My first husband, who was an actor, was a Sicilian and he couldn’t help her around the house, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to, is that he was the first born Sicilian son and he couldn’t do the dishes or clean up so, I work the full time job and I cleaned and I marketed and I cooked and I cleaned up after dinner and I was exhausted and one day I bought a really heavy duty vacuum cleaner and use it for David, so then I said “you know what I am returning this vacuum cleaner, its too much for me, I cannot even wheel it around” and he said “I will do it,” he said “I will do it,” that because it was a manly thing, so he takes a right and for two years he did all the vacuuming and I thought it was fabulous, because he was helping me, he was the man doing the vacuum clean, I positioned it differently and I did not even know it at that time, that I was manipulating him, in a charming way, but because every time vacuumed I really gushed all over him and twice he actually cook dinner, he took a roast out of the refrigerator and he could not meal them, which he was not cooking dinner, I didn’t divorce him anyway, because the dinner did not work out, actually he broke up with me, in an elevator. That is the first page of the book, how he broke up with me in an elevator of the cad, but that’s kind of what I did, I am not a dictatorial person, I was not a good dictator. I knew that I wasn’t going to able to order people around, it was in my nature and I am a women, women don’t do that, its not accepted when a women is a dictator. So, I had to find other ways to get people to do the things that I wanted them to do, so that charming seduction and manipulation was a good way for me to do that. Recorded on: 2/29/08
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