First, tell us a little about yourself: Name, Title, Company, How you got there, Family, Extracurricular Activities. We want to know your story.
Lynne Robertson, CEO Fame:
I'm living proof that not having a plan can be a plan. I majored in journalism with an eye toward becoming a world-renowned news anchor. After college graduation and a less than inspiring stint as an on-air personality in Des Moines, I moved back to Minneapolis to reassess my career goals. Needing to earn rent money, I took a job as an agency receptionist. I moved on to Campbell-Mithun for a little over a decade, and have been at Fame since 2003. You could say this career sort of found me.
I just celebrated 28 years of marriage.
I have three children:
- Daughter (25) Lives in San Francisco and works at a global advertising agency.
- Son (19) A sophomore in college.
- Son (11) A newly minted 7th grader.
I am not very good with unscheduled time. Left to my own devices I would spend an entire day with a good book, or a new Netflix series. Absent that, I like to spend time in the yard imagining I'm an accomplished gardener, on the Lake with family & friends, and discovering new artists” writers, musicians, and the like. I'm a recent convert to Barre, and obsessed with all things Kennedy.
What's your personal and professional mission statement(s)?
“Just Keep Going.” If I've learned anything, it's the power of perseverance. I think everyone has the ability to succeed, but often give up before an opportunity ripens or reveals itself.
What's your definition of what makes a "MPLS MadWoman"?
I should probably ask you this question! But, if I were to think about the common characteristics of the successful women in this industry I know, they would be: Strong, ambitious, compassionate, genuine, ethical and humorous.
How do you strive to embody what it is to be a MPLS MadWoman, in both your professional and personal life as a wife and mother of three?
The skills developed while parenting corresponds closely to those valued in the workplace: Patience, listening with intent, the ability to identify and nurture talent are all essential to building healthy relationships and creating cultures that last. I guess I've learned to lead like a mother!
How do you think being a working parent has affected your career and parenting style?
I think that evolves with the life stages of your family as well as your career. In the beginning, you're just trying to keep all the plates spinning, at home and at work. As you advance and your family matures, more discipline is required around roles and responsibilities. And everyone needs to be accountable. I don't helicopter at the office or at home.
How do you promote work /life balance within Fame?
I struggle with this expression, because it implies there's no life in work" a notion to which I don't subscribe. I believe if you have the right infrastructure in place you can move pretty seamlessly between the different facets of your life. The greatest gift of technology is how effortless it's made those transitions. You no longer need to be in a particular place to conduct business" of whatever nature.
How has your recent change in title from CEO/President to CEO/Owner affected your perspective and/or leadership style?
I don't think it's changed my perspective or leadership style. I've always believed people will thrive if their values are aligned with the organization if they feel their contributions are valued and rewarded and if they understand their own personal path to success. The biggest change in moving from operator to owner is recognizing that I'm solely responsible for every decision and it impacts on the agency.
What advice would you give your children if they were to follow in your footsteps professionally?
My daughter works in the business on the west coast and I'm certain would have much to add to this discussion! Whatever profession my children pursue, I would advise them the same way: Be the one that exceeds expectations.
MadWoman of the month is a monthly series of interviews highlighting an amazing woman each month in our community, voted for by the community, and published on the Egotist. We’re thrilled to shine a light on inspirational women. Nominate the next MadWoman of the Month on twitter.