Big Leaps and Baby Steps
By Lynn Branigan
This month we shine a spotlight on 17 women who are “changing the game” across our industry. They will share their wisdom and strategies on April 10 during a luncheon celebration at Gotham. Please join us if you want to be inspired.
According to the Urban Dictionary, a game changer is “someone who looks beyond conventional methods; conceives new strategies; works to transform their industry.” Our 2019 Game Changers have defined and defied what it means to reshape status quo. They have created growth for their companies. They have innovated product offerings. They have redefined the brands they market. They have been tireless champions of diversity, inclusion and equality. They have also used their voices, talent and tools to break through silence to create a path for action and change.
When we imagine game changers, the people who come to mind are those who have had a significant impact on history and culture. Women like Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Coco Chanel, Amelia Earhart, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
But every one of us can also look in the mirror and see a game changer. We all have the potential to affect a change – massive or minor – that can turn a tide, launch a movement, shift a perception or right a wrong. When you advocate for a colleague, echo someone else’s idea and point the credit back to her, offer a smile or verbal encouragement to someone working through a challenging day … you create a relatively imperceptible shift in the universe that can ripple its way to transformation.
I was recently approached at a restaurant by a new member of She Runs It, and the young woman asked if she could introduce her mother to me. I was so honored and delighted. The gesture was so kind and yet a little bit daring, and it inspired me to pass the feelings forward. My approach to reaching out to people has shifted a bit and it was all because one young woman made me feel so valued at a random moment.
No matter what career stage you are traversing, there are people around you who can learn from your experiences and insights, and there are teams, projects or initiatives that you can improve and propel. Lean in a bit and you will find your own momentum. I salute and celebrate the 17 Game Changers who will be recognized on April 10, and I also salute the remarkable women (and men) across marketing, media and tech for taking important steps, large and small, to make our work better and our industry more successful.