Susan Franceschini, executive director of ThinkLA, may be in the thick of the Los Angeles ad scene, but she considers herself a neutral Switzerland and loves getting to play with the best agencies, brands, marketers and media companies in an ever-growing market.
Franceschini never would have pictured herself at the helm of LA’s biggest ad club, but with her 10 years in human resources at Davis Elen and four years as a recruiter at Chiat, she was led into a role she didn't even know existed before, and it’s one in which she thrives.
Her superpower is being a good listener, which is a reason she can wrangle the strong personalities of the LA ad scene and bring them together for a greater good, all while remaining calm, centered and focused on the task of shining a brighter light on the market.
She also says we should all ask for help from time to time and avoid the possibility of “hero syndrome”, that moment when intention is swamped by the reality of being overburdened with trying to manage big workloads.
“It brings out the best in you when you ask for help or ask for feedback from people too,” she said.
Franceschini is at her best when she makes herself a priority over work, which isn’t as selfish as it sounds. It’s necessary. Meditation and exercise are just a couple of ways that she keeps things on the center line, blending work and life.
She believes that people must experience working and traveling abroad, which can be challenging and humbling. Her experiences in Paris, working at a male modeling agency, underscores the potential benefits of taking the leap in ones career from time to time.
Authenticity is a big one for Franceschini — knowing who you are and how you show up, navigate and impact the world.
Additionally, Franceschini is a big advocate for living with intention — something that doesn’t necessarily happen in the go-go world of advertising. There is power in knowing how your words, your behavior, your actions impact everyone.
“Stop and think about what you’re doing [and] where you want to go,” she said.
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