Tag Archives: Broadcast

Boss Lady Ness

Your phone is ringing. The email is suddenly filling up with subject lines such as ‘approval needed urgently’, ‘contract to be signed, check clause 4′ and ’employee review meeting-reminder’.

The world of Bosslady ness. It’s exhilarating, it’s inspiring, it’s full of deadlines and expectations. Suddenly you are not only expected to go above and beyond to full fill your role and then some, you are responsible not just for a few but The with capital ‘T’ employees on a day to day basis that will provide you the workforce and results you need to get the nod of approval from those Directors during your updates.

As of the past six months + I’ve found myself placed in the mad world of boss lady working, in perhaps one of the most male dominated (gray haired, no offence foxes) sections of the Media world there is, Sports Broadcasting. It’s been exciting, there’s been programming to Produce, and there’s been staff to manage and hire. And perhaps most exciting, there’s been plans and pitches however insane to build and follow!

One of the three most important things I’ve learned from this business, which is repeated again and again, is the value of people. Businesses aren’t built solely on money, big badassers on top or a good ideas. They are built and continue running successfully because of their people. At a recent conference on the future of Digital (which FYI bloody hell, get on that band wagon!! 11 year olds are our future programmers and the whole world is waiting to get connected! Our kids will laugh in our faces when we show them DVDs!) some of the most successful entrepreneurs  out there graced us with their presence and discussed how important is to surround yourself with not average, not ok, but excellent people. And then look after them! Value your employees, value their opinions, and make sure they are happy. Unhappy mistreated staff result in unhappy halfhearted client service and a lack of loyalty within. No one benefits there.

On that note, Richard Branson recently published his ‘Top 5’s on running and starting a business’ and emphasises the exact same thing (have a read here).

The second one, is probably enjoy what you do. If you come into work miserable everyone else will pick up on it. Creativity will halt and without passion and forward thinking there isn’t going to be much business development to speak of.

Thirdly you need a healthy work v private life balance. You need to be passionate enough about work that you don’t’ quite view it as such. Equally, we all know that it’s not quite that easy. Sometimes you’ll need to pull three week stints of ridiculously long days. That’s just part of your job, whatever it may be. You need to put the effort in when needed to push boundaries and backup the ideas and ventures you believe in. However, keep that up for much longer and rather than firing at 110% you’ll be falling down, from 80% to 60, 40, 25%…

One of my directors once sat me down and told me his most successful learning tool was a very simple one (he teaches major corporations, Banks in particular, about maximising their potential): shut off your blackberry/iPhone. Not just vibrating and checking the emails every half an hour. If you spend your life constantly with one foot halfway at work even while you’re meant to be focusing on living life (family, friends, those moments where you laugh and cry and live) you need to put 100% into it. 50/50 never works, because you end up giving some here and some there and never fully putting all your ability into one project. Fingers in many pies is one thing, as long as you remember which one is which.

A sort of unspoken fourth one I’d say is gamble. Take chances. If you don’t nothing new ever gets done. If no one ever tried silly or crazy things nothing clever would ever get done (I believe that’s a bit of a ripped off quote, yes :). Believe in yourself, whether you’re working in a massive organisation, in a small business, or you’re starting your own venture. Don’t forget, sometimes you’ll fail. That’s ok. If you didn’t you’d be Batman. And then you probably wouldn’t need this really, beyond loose the freaky voice (seriously, what is that!). You need to know you can fail, and feel comfortable enough knowing that you’ll be backed up in case you do (or if you are literally your own boss with no backing, know you have a whole cupboard full of noodles until you can get a new pay cheque. That’s ok too ;). Point is, take a chance, no one got anywhere exciting without scary obstacles but trying anyway.

Anyway, back to bossladynessing… It’s been quite a journey so far and, to be honest, in between the moments of panic and seriousness the feeling that this is actually just a little bit amaze balls is pretty exciting! It’s amazing what can happen when you have a little faith in yourself, suddenly others do to. So work your ass off! Don’t ever think it isn’t hard work, but always know nothing’s impossible. When a 24 year old turns up to a meeting and demands respect, especially if she is a woman, even in this day and age you’ll still get a few raised eyebrows. But don’t for a second think they won’t give you the time of day, don’t expect it but demand the respect you’ve earned.

And look after your staff!! They make or break :).

Gotta go, business development meetings to attend!!

xo xo

‘P’

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The Answer is ‘Yes’ – there is no such word as ‘impossible’

“No, I’m sorry.” are not words you should get associated  to.

It’s a well known fact no production, however smooth running, is flawless. Things will go wrong, details will be overlooked, technical equipment will break at vital moments (despite rigorous testing). The only thing you can do in these instances is be prepared, and know that you did everything necessary and beyond to minimise the risks before.

When you get asked to do something, however ridiculous or far fetched (get the camera down from three hours north in the next half an hour, sushi lunches prepared by Michelin star chefs, the direct mobile number to that famous NFL player) you nod and say you’ll get it sorted. Because you will be asked, and a lot of the times it won’t be possible. That’s where some tweaking of the services comes into play.

Firstly, though, the time-frame. One of the top five pieces of advise I was given when starting out in the industry included how to estimate the time it’ll take you to finish a task. When your boss asks, calculate the realistic time, double that, and there you have it. If you finish it earlier than expected, well done you. If you run into serious trouble on the way and need the full amount of double-time, you’re still within your promised slot and everyone can happily stick to their schedules.

Secondly, when you do run into trouble and realise you won’t be able to get the requested result. Think outside the box. Sushi lunch by the Michelin-starrer can’t be done? Offer the assistant chef (aka the protege – talk him up), a take away version from the best japanese restaurant (send another assistant to get it if necessary, don’t trust their delivery men!), or an alternative course by another equally qualified chef.

The camera from up north? Hire in the kit locally, same quality and a promise to send the bill to whoever left it up north (or if it’s just a whim request from up high, recalculate the budget and make it work, even if you cut your coffee supply for a month).

The phone number? Go back… Find his junior club/high school/whatever. A coach that knew him well perhaps? Work your way forward, blagging whatever needs to be blagged. Can you get in touch with a parent? A friend? Anyone close enough to guarantee a message (not the PA of his boss, that message will not be getting you anywhere cause, well, bigger fish and panic already happening over there).

The bottom line is, nothing’s impossible. You just find YOUR way of solving it. If there isn’t one, you pave it. Just don’t ever turn back to your boss saying it can’t be done. You put your head up high, make sure you let them know this is a difficult task and that they can’t expect miracles, and then hand them the next best thing which, to them, will seem much like magic after all.

They may be demanding, but bosses are rarely stupid. They know full well the pressures and ridiculousness of the to-do lists you’re stuck with. Enjoy it, love the responsibility, show them you’re determined, use some charm (girls and boys, this applies to both of you, a kind word and some chit chat to remind the people on the other side of the line you’re both just as busy and struggling always helps), and voila.

Remember to cover your back. Double check, google, make sure the batteries are charged yada yada. Make long lists and tick them off, tedious as it may seem you will get tired and forget and a tick box can save your ass. Don’t. Miss. On the details! Very important. And smile, and shrug your shoulders at that miracle. What? You can do that in your sleep!!

They won’t forget the favour, or the smile. And they’ll learn to trust you.

Off you go, show them what you’ve got ;).

xoxo

‘P’

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