Lori Senecal on Leadership

Before Lori Senecal became the global C.E.O. of advertising agency CP+B (Crispin Porter + Bogusky), she was a Montreal-raised girl with a love for gymnastics. By the age of 15, she was coaching the sport, and it was during her teen years where she gained early leadership training and some of the core qualities she possesses today.

“Gymnastics is both an individual sport as well as a team sport, so you have to discover the unique and full potential of each athlete, but you also have to make sure everyone succeeds as a team … if you can help someone become more confident and achieve their ambitions, that’s something that you can always feel good about,” said Senecal in an interview with the New York Times.

Senecal also stresses the importance of knowing your limits as a leader. While it’s important to encourage and motivate others to work hard and succeed, putting yourself in their shoes is also a must.

“You have to strike a balance between the need to strive for excellence, but also the need for compassion. Gymnastics is not an easy sport. You have to really dedicate yourself to an incredible amount of training, and you really have to set the bar high in terms of excellence. But with that comes a need for a strong sense of compassion, because it can be emotionally intense for young girls who are participating in the sport, and you need to have the compassion to be able to recognize when too much is too much. You want to unlock all of their potential but not be so hard on them that they’re going to feel demotivated and quit. You need to really strike that balance,” said Senecal in the same interview.

Whether you’re a 15-year-old gymnastics coach or a Global C.E.O., it is important to lead in a way that is encouraging, inspiring, compassionate and understanding. Encouraging your employees or mentees to do their best is a given, and so is having realistic expectations. Having that balance as a leader will bring gratitude and respect from the people who look up to you, which ultimately benefits the bigger picture.

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Image Credit:  New York Times

Priyanka Jain

About Priyanka Jain

Priyanka Jain is a public relations professional and freelance writer. She is passionate about both writing and PR as they require endless curiosity and lots of conversation. Her heart and soul lies in meeting new people, exploring her creative side, volunteering and travelling. You can hear more from Priyanka on her blog Twenty One Firsts.