JOURNALISM MATTERS Áine Kerr COO with Kinzen
Áine Kerr, Chief Operations Officer with start up Kinzen, believes journalism is changing rapidly (again) and that we have to start asking why people need journalism, if we are to engage readers, viewers, listeners and especially millennials with news they can trust.
Áine is the guest on this podcast and she talks passionately about leadership about journalism and what she learned during her career to date with Storyful and then with facebook before reconnecting with co founder Mark Little to begin Kinzen. It is obvious from listening toÁine that they have done a lot of work researching people’s news habits especially on the daily commute.
5 Top Leadership Advice Pearls
1. LAVA Listen Acknowledge Validate and Ask. This is a concept she learned from a coach in New York. When you are trying to tackle through complex negotiations, when you are about to have difficult conversations then try LAVA.Listen Acknowledge Validate and Ask. Don’t wade in and try to fix things immediately. Tease out issues and ask good questions like “what would you do here?”.
2.Know thyself. Aine recommends doing a Myres Briggs personality test not just to know about yourself but to learn about others. “Just to know that there are 15 different types of people, that has been critical to me as a leader.” She says some people like process, some like improvisation causing chaos, then there are the Dolphins like herself, the harmonizer clarifiers. “When you realize there are different types of people then you realize you have to manage them in different ways.”
3. Be stubborn on your vision and flexible on you process. Particularly in a start up you are constantly in a state of “What is it that we are here to do?”. There is a commitment to suffering in all of that. You are constantly in a state of learning. Think what is it that we are here to do. Recommit to that every day.
4. Prepare for the ‘Messy Middle’. This Messy Middle is also a book Aine Kerr recommends. Success is not a straight line of growth. There are moments of euphoria and moments of gloom. There are moments to endure the lows and optimize the highs. This teaches resilience.
5. Give Energy to your team. You as a leader have to be a person that gives energy not takes energy. Aine uses the analogy of a bus driver on a journey. “You have to tell people what it is like outside. You are the team’s window and you are the driver navigating the terrain, the tricky territory navigating to the endpoint. Giving energy not taking it away.
Áine Kerr’s Go To Songs include the Verve Bitter Sweet Symphony. Now that she is a mother of a young baby girl she wants a diverse world for her daughter to grow up in so her song has changed to This Is Me from ‘The Greatest Showman’
“This is me.” Be diverse, being proud of who you are. Learning your way forward. If you want something done, ask a busy woman. ‘It is a little mantra between the two of us.’ That together with ruthless prioritsation!