40 Over 40 Vision…What I Know Now

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In addition to 40:20 Vision, I co-created 40 Women to Watch Over 40. This year’s honorees are each a role model in their own right. Our interview series with the winners is full of 40:20 wisdom. Today I’m sharing some advice from Wendy Clark, President – Sparkling Brands and Strategic Marketing, Coca-Cola North America.

40 Over 40 Asks: 6  Questions with Wendy Clark

Who has been a valuable mentor or sponsor?

So many mentors and counselors in my journey. At GSD&M, I learned from Roy Spence and Judy Trabulsi that humanity matters and that you don’t have to be smart at the cost of kind. You can (and must) be both. At the new AT&T I learned from our CEO, Ed Whitacre, that great leaders listen more than they talk. He was a man of few, choiceful words, but when he talked everyone listened. From Muhtar Kent, our CEO at Coca-Cola, I’ve learned that it’s important to manage the present AND invent the future. Successful leaders are deeply passionate today but not at the cost of creating tomorrow.

How did you get your first job? How did you jump to your second job?

I like talking about my first job after college because it’s advice I offer to today’s grads. My first job was as a receptionist in an ad agency. I was convinced I wanted to be in advertising but right out of college I couldn’t get in without experience. So I found an opening for a receptionist at an ad agency and answered their phones and stocked their fridge with Cokes. I knew if I could just get in there I could prove myself, and within 6 months that’s what happened as I moved into the account team. The point is, never be above doing anything.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Never believe your own press. The minute you do, you’ll stop trying as hard.

For the remaining 3 questions and for some inspiration link here: Fortyover40.com

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