*By Pam Golden, President, GLA Communications
In life and in business, we often focus too much on the destination – where we are going – and forget to take the time to enjoy the journey. Elise Mitchell, Chairman of Mitchell Communications Group and CEO of Dentsu Aegis PR Network and author of Leading Through the Turn: How a Journey Mindset Can Help Leaders Find Success and Significance shared with attendees at the 2017 PRSA International Conference how she changed her approach to life and work and realized that the journey matters as much as the destination.
The first time I heard Elise talk about her journey was at a PRSA Counselors Academy Spring Conference and I came away inspired and motivated. This time was no different as there are few people I have met in business who are as willing to share as much as Elise.
A few years back, Elise asked herself: Is this all there is? She felt like something was missing and wondered if the destination was not worth reaching, what was she striving for? In pursuit of the destination, could she find the journey? For Elise, it was a motorcycle trip with her husband that helped her find her way and even inspired the title of her book.
One piece of advice that Elise offered was to “scrap the maps and go with the detours of life.” By doing so, you will find yourself in amazing destinations that can create new opportunities. And of course, the journey can take different turns. In 2012, Elise sold her firm to Dentsu Aegis Network, which took her and her team on a different journey that included two restructurings in two years. As we all are aware, success is not promised. We have to work for it and have to stay the course.
Whether we are leaders of an agency, a company, a department or a team, the question Elise says we should be asking ourselves is: “what matters most as a leader? What do I want to be known for?” And the road is not always easy, so when the storm moves in, this is the most important time to take the helm.
Elise also reminds us that it is important to enjoy the ride – so we should find the off switch and live a whole life. She encouraged us to invest in ourselves because if you don’t there won’t be anything for anyone else and because it is the people who matter most since relationships are the greatest gifts we have.
*Pam Golden is president of GLA Communications which she founded in 1986. Her expertise has helped fuel many successful communications campaigns including the launch of home satellite TV, DVD and HDTV. Pam provides high-level strategic and tactical counsel to GLA’s clients, bringing the benefit of more than 30 years of experience in creating and executing effective campaigns that deliver results. Pam is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves on the executive committee for its Counselors Academy sector, where she is also chair of the programming committee. In April 2017, Pam was named as a finalist in the Leading Women Entrepreneurs “Brand Builders” category, which celebrates communications professionals who excel in brand innovation.