Lori Senecal, chairman and CEO of New York-based ad agency Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners (kbs), has learned a thing or two about climbing to the top. She worked her way up to president of the flagship New York office of storied ad agency McCann Erickson before joining kbs in 2009 and taking the helm last year.
While there, she’s overseen cutting edge campaigns forBMW and Puma, and helped launch an industry mentoring initiative called Straight Up to encourage more women to advance into leadership. I sat down with Senecal to learn more about her career trajectory and to get her best advice for future female leaders. Here’s what she said.
Go Toward Your Fear
“You have to get comfortable with the fear,” says Senecal. Leaping into the unknown or taking on a big challenge may be scary, but they also represent the best opportunities for growth. Senecal grew up in Montreal, Canada, and worked in Toronto for many years before she decided to take a chance and move to New York City. At first, she was rattled by the change, but she quickly settled in and eventually rose to the executive level at McCann. Moving in the direction of your fear, rather than avoiding it, is an especially important message for women, she says. “Women hold themselves to incredibly high standards. If they don’t feel 100% ready, they may be more cautious.” Don’t let fear paralyze you.
Be A Squeaky Wheel
“When it comes to career advancement and compensation, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and need,” says Senecal. This is one lesson she learned the hard way. “I always thought if you put your head down and worked hard, they would hand you what you deserved,” she says. “It’s not the case.” For the remaining tips read the complete ForbesWoman article.