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Lead Possible

Lead Possible_Paula Kerger_article

Leaders inspire and work alongside their team, but they do not micromanage.

Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS, joined Langone MBA students for a 2013-2014 Langone Speaker Series event. Professor Charlie Murphy moderated the conversation, which began with a one-on-one interview focused on Kerger’s experiences at PBS, career path and professional pointers for Langone MBAs.

Media has the power to educate and inspire – not just entertain – with content that matters, Kerger said, but the biggest challenges facing industry professionals today are rapid changes in technology and the numerous ways audiences can consume content. As a media professional, Kerger attributes her ability to lead a $500 million company and navigate opportunities for growth in part to her academic background in business. She emphasized the need for risk management while maintaining an environment that fosters innovation. “Innovation should really cascade across the company,” she said.

Throughout the interview, she offered leadership advice for students as they pursue their own career paths:
  • Be in touch with your customers. Find out where people are and make sure your content is there.
  • Fail, fail fast, and learn from it.
  • Hire the best people you can find – people who are smarter than you – and then get out of the way. Leaders inspire and work alongside their team, but they do not micromanage.
  • Stay actively engaged. Learn how to delegate effectively, but don’t be absent.

Watch the video of the event

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Upcoming Speaker Series Events

  • April 4: Bob Pittman, Clear Channel Communications
  • October 10: Dave Barger, JetBlue Airways