Nina DiSesa: Who taught you leadership?
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: Only people that I learn from are my clients or the people who I work with in the agency, and because in the last 20 years or so, I have been in the position of being the mentors to other people. My responsibilities are slightly different now. People look up to me as shocking as it is, they look up to me as a guide and try and find out how I would do it something, so that they can learn how to be in control of their environment. Anybody wants to do is to be in fact control of the environment. So, the people that I learned things from mostly the men in the office, because though I never worked for a women, and I have watched how they solve problems and how they handled crisis and they are very brave in a lot of ways and maybe because they have to be brave, its not manly not to be brave, but whatever the reason is they do have certain characteristics that I admire and those of characteristics that I try it to emulate. Recorded on: 2/29/08
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
DiSesa looks to the men in her office.