Thank you to the 1,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
7 Questions with Lori Hamilton
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Lori Hamilton
Name: Lori Hamilton
Current title: President/CEO
Current organisation: Prosperity Productions, Inc.
With more than 20 years experience across a broad range of industries, Lori Hamilton has worked as a marketing strategist, researcher, and creative consultant for more than 100 Fortune 500 companies, as well as as well as numerous small businesses, Internet companies and manufacturers. . She specializes in insights, innovation, positioning (brand and product differentiation for competitive advantage), facilitated work sessions and marketing communications.
Lori has taught insights and innovation at Columbia University, NYU and Pace University, and she has conducted major insights/innovation programs for companies such as Carter’s, Russell Athletic, ConAgra, Kimberly-Clark, Rubbermaid, Google, Samsung, MetLife, The Home Depot, USG Corporation, Colgate, Timex, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell’s Soup, and Microsoft.
Lori holds a B.A. in linguistics from UCLA, and has won 43 regional, national, and international awards for creative work, marketing effectiveness and direct marketing programs, including 5 Best of Shows awards and a Clio. Her firm has generated more than $3 billion in incremental revenue for clients through innovation and effective marketing programs.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Making sure that I stay on top of all the key relationships in a meaningful way.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Started my firm in 1994 after being a VP of Marketing for a large regional bank. I realized I was in the wrong role and began to recast my life based on what I love doing, what energizes me and gives me purpose.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start the day with meditation and mindfulness work, then get all my emails out of the way. I try to get my workout done early so I am fresh, but sometimes I wait until later in the day. The work day is focused on writing, project management, team collaboration and time to rest in between so I am fresh with each new conversation. At night, I take some downtime to enjoy something creative - reading, watching a movie, etc. before meditation again just before falling asleep.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I cannot be a better leader with others than I am with myself.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
First Break All the Rules - a quantitative study of what makes a great workplace. It's a simple primer of the basics of what makes a great team work well together.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
I start by understanding each person's passion and their gifts, then encourage them to do what they love and what energizes them. I also make sure I understand the opposite of that and work to diminish those things. Next, I tell everyone that I have 100% of me 100% of the time, I encourage diversity of opinions, backgrounds, age, race, etc. and actively encourage people to tell the honest truth about things by giving a variety of ways to provide feedback.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I was working on a multi-billion dollar logistics and distribution plan for a large manufacturing company. As part of our work, I needed to tour a plant. I was told that we were meeting with management, so I got all dressed up in my suit. NOPE. It was plant management. The plant manager, who had more tattoos than he had teeth, took one look at me in my suit and rolled his eyes. He then went to the wall of construction helmets and carefully picked out the most disgusting one for me to wear. By the end of the day, he had told me the truth about what was REALLY going on in the plant and with distribution. He solved a key piece of the puzzle. He invited me out for a beer and a ride on his Harley. The key lesson is that everyone is an expert in something you're not. Listen to people without judgment and you'll learn a lot!