PM360 asked Lynn Macrone, Global CEO and Founding Partner of JUICE Pharma Worldwide, for her best pearls of leadership wisdom. She shared her advice picked up from two decades of running the full-service healthcare advertising agency.
PM360: What is your secret to making your employees/team perform better?
Lynn Macrone: It’s important to lean into what gets them going—what excites them, how can they be in their purpose. It is not the same for everyone although in our business, I know we all feel very good about the impact we have on helping people live healthier, happier lives. And everyone at the agency plays a role in that.
What was your biggest leadership failure, and what did you learn from it to make your approach better moving forward?
I have experienced failures and there are likely more in my future. But what sticks out in my mind is when I chose to avoid addressing a difficult situation, went against my gut instinct, and hoped it would miraculously resolve in due time.
Instead, it mushroomed into a devasting result. I learned from that point on that I would never ignore what my gut is telling me, not for a minute. I promised myself I would address tough issues head on, no matter how uncomfortable, because had I done that originally, I could have saved the relationship and had a much better result.
What was the best piece of advice or inspiration you got from another leader?
The best piece of advice I ever received was actually from my father, who was a serial entrepreneur in his early years. He said: “Don’t ever let anyone get in the way of your dreams.” It was simple, and it reset my priorities immediately. I feel very lucky to have been given that piece of advice because it gave me the freedom and permission to just go for it unapologetically. I think about that phrase a lot and share it around whenever the opportunity presents itself.
What skill do you think is the most important for a leader to have that not enough people talk about?
People don’t talk enough about the importance of humility. We are in a business full of people with big personalities, people who are incredibly smart and many who are highly creative and don’t follow the status quo.
All of this can make for very spirited exchanges and emotions can run high, and in the process good ideas can get lost. A decent dose of humility can go a long way in protecting the relationships within a team while making sure the fragile pearls of a bold idea are captured, nurtured, and beautifully brought to life.
Finally, who is the boss?
The boss calls the shots, and in our business, the boss is the “Big Idea.” It’s the germ of a thought that emerges and takes over your consciousness completely, until it blossoms into great work. That’s who’s boss. We are all in the service of this.