We interviewed Emily Madsen, our Senior Director of Product Marketing, to ask her eight questions about her experience as a female leader within Progrexion! Read her interview below and leave a comment to tell us what you think!
Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day.
My day to day is focused on selling our Care products. I work with the marketing channel managers, the product team, and sales team to work on new strategies and ways to get our Care products (Lex OnTrack, and CR’s ThinkCredit), into the market. It’s an exciting new area of our business! I also help drive culture for the marketing group.
When you first started your career, what were your ambitions? Have they changed?
I graduated from Utah State in English Literature, teaching emphasis. I taught high school for a couple years and then realized I had more I wanted to learn/do, before teaching. It’s been a twisting journey, but I’m thrilled to have landed in marketing.
What were some of your biggest challenges when you first started to take on leadership roles?
When I first moved into a leadership/management role it took me some time to get used to delegating. I had been a strong personal contributor – it was hard to make the change and find personal value in supporting my team, not just completing my own task list. It wasn’t natural for me at first – but now it’s something I find very rewarding.
How has mentorship impacted your career?
I have had a couple mentors that have been key to my career. One was my Executive Creative Director at my previous company. He gave me an opportunity to move from the film and production side of the creative world, to creative direction and usability. His taking the time to teach me, and help me grow changed my career path. I’ll be forever grateful for that. I’ve been conscious to try and pay forward what he shared with me.
How would you describe your leadership style?
From a technical definition, I am an affiliative leader. I love to encourage collaboration. I care about people, how they are doing, and their emotional needs. From there, I make sure we are staying on the same path, and living into the vision and goals we have set. For me, caring about people is the most impactful thing I can do. With that relationship, I work at helping people reach their potential.
What female leader do you admire and why?
The female leaders I admire most are ones I know personally. My Mother, my sisters, close friends. I have a dear friend that is the COO of a local branch of a national non-profit organization. Her position often handles front line crisis that deals in domestic violence. I admire her steady head, and consistent compassion for those she serves. I look to her for an example of how to keep people first, use compassion, and be direct when navigating challenges.
How does diversity impact your team?
As a kid, I was a huge Mr. Rogers fan. There was a character on the show called “Purple Panda.” Purple Panda lived in a world where everyone was exactly the same. Even at a young age, I could see clearly that “all the same” was not interesting – or engaging. Working with people from different life paths, backgrounds, cultures, etc. helps drive me. There is so much to learn from others, when we take the time to do so.
How do you identify potential leaders on your team?
Drive. When I see someone with “fire in the belly,” I look for ways to help clear a path for them. Often times these people are seen as significant personal contributors – but it’s my experience when you can help driven people share there enthusiasm with others, it opens doors for them to grow and expand their influence.