Tue, 12 Oct 2021 09:24:46 GMT
Lizette Santos, CEO, FCB Manila has 20 years of advertising and marketing experience
Responsible for the overall direction of FCB Manila brands. A seasoned advertising professional who worked in different departments like media, account management, but found her niche in strategic planning. Worked in different agencies like Lowe Philippines, Campaigns and Grey, Harrison Communications, FCB Jakarta but found a home in FCB Manila.
Lizette> I didn’t know it back then, but I was given many leadership opportunities even when I was a junior employee. It would happen that my boss left for another job, or I would be thrust into a new account alone and I would have to lead the account.
I could not say I was thrilled by what had happened at the moment, but looking back, I am grateful that I went through all of that.
Lizette> The HARD way! (LOL)
I found out as I worked with many different leaders in my career. I have learned that I wanted to be a Human first with everybody, treat everyone with compassion and kindness as much as I can. Be real with them because I also want them to be real to me.
Lizette> The moment when I realised that I was the last say.
I had to make a decision that would make an impact on every single employee in the company and that was scary. But it was necessary for me to decide and I did.
Everyday I am still learning different lessons. I am just thankful that I have a great team to work with.
Lizette> At school, I was always given leadership positions, I didn’t really seek it out, but I realised that maybe people ‘saw’ it in me.
I was happy to do my best in anything, even in leadership but I didn’t necessarily want to be leading all the time. In fact, there were times in my career that I didn’t relish having a leadership position because of all the problems that come with it.
Lizette> For me, most of the skills of leadership can be learned. In my experience, the way I know how to be a leader was shaped and honed by what I see and how my bosses have led me, how they have decided on key issues. I always wondered, what would I have done if I were in their position.
But, one of the most important parts of leadership is largely because of your personality and values, and it is the kind of leader you are. It is true that pressure will bring about your real character and power will magnify it. A person has to have their values intact in order to lead a team in the right direction.
Lizette> For me it’s the realisation that every decision can impact every one that keeps me up at night. It’s always hard to know what is the decision that will be better for everyone in the long run. But what I do is to seal it first in a mental box, do something else and then come back. That way, I can look at it in another light.
Lizette> Definitely! I have failed countless times. But what I did was to pick myself up and tackled it head on. If I hurt anyone in the process, I made sure that I apologised and explained to them. I think the best thing when you have failed is to acknowledge it, learn from it and then move forward. This is the only way you can grow as a leader too.
Lizette> The best way is to balance transparency and carefulness. I did grapple with this issue but I realised that you need to be transparent to people because this is the way that they will understand the decisions that are made. I want the team to feel included in our thought process, because at the end of the day, we are better when we work together.
Lizette> I had a leadership peg, I wanted to be very much like Mariles Gustilo who was the president of Lowe Philippines when I was there. She became my direct boss when I was still a very young accounts person. She is a very measured person, always classy and always gave a very well thought out opinion. I always had a sense that she had the best interest of everybody at heart. That’s why she could reason with Client the way she did. That was a very important lesson I learned from her.
On mentorship, I don’t really decide to focus on one individual, but more like I try to coach the team when I comment or give feedback. I want to demand excellence from everyone but at the same time, give them the support they need.
Lizette> I was just promoted this year and have had many challenges ever since!
Honestly, I owe it all to the team at FCB Manila. They have shown me support and trust day in and day out, I just want to do the right thing for all of my teammates, our Clients and at the end of the day, we also want to move hearts and minds forward in the right direction with our work.
Lizette> Recently, there were some issues that came out in our industry on sexism, fat-shaming and I was very pleased to see that our 4A’s dealt with it swiftly.
As a leader, I really try to lead by example. Being inclusive is important because we are centred on being a team and working together.
Lizette> I think culture is 50% of the success of the business. For us, we keep in touch with one another and try to keep things light even during important meetings. We share with each other on a daily basis, even the things that aren’t necessarily business related. It’s important to connect on a human level with everyone.
Lizette> There are lots of people you can follow online, and I am sure a lot of leaders follow them. But for me, the experience of being with people, working with them day to day and even just talking with them have helped me in my leadership journey.
Everything is an inspiration and a lesson, so I try to immerse myself in many different interests so I can learn from all of it.view more - Bossing ItFCB APAC, Tue, 12 Oct 2021 09:24:46 GMT