‘Ask people what they want’: Exceptional Women of the World featuring Constance DeCherney, TDA Boulder

Constance DeCherney, director of strategy at TDA Boulder

For Constance DeCherney, where we’re headed is important — whether it’s in work or life.

DeCherney, director of strategy at TDA Boulder, grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. After attending the nearby University of Delaware, she found herself at the ACLU, then Planned Parenthood and iCrossing. At every stop along the way, she pushed hard to move everything forward.

How we evolve as an industry is of particular interest and DeCherney believes that we place too much emphasis on authenticity when, in fact, it should be all about intention first. Intention can build a future while authenticity can keep evolution at bay, to the industry’s own peril.

Motivations are also on her mind — and the ability to listen first and talk second can help engender greater understanding of people, especially in the tenuous climate gripping the country. Knowing and appreciating values is another key marker for moving forward and the inherent ability to relate — or least attempting to relate — can unearth more connection than some realize.

Additionally, in looking back, DeCherney believes that the practice of saying “I don’t know” followed by “tell me more” can be a powerful force in greater understanding — and that curiosity is a foundation of being successful. Usually being the youngest in the boardroom and staying to the practice has proven to be of great benefit in her career arc.

During her time in Colorado, DeCherney realized that pulling the trigger on leaving New York City, which she counts as a bit of an impulse, has been transformative and grounds her thinking.

Fearless, yet accessible in her approach, she is a huge advocate for challenging young women to think about what they truly want in life and their careers — and how they can be integrated together well. She also believes that leaders should ask people what they want, then give it to them, knowing that collaboration, independence and autonomy can help lead the way.

Exceptional Women of the World is a podcast that highlights and celebrates the great achievements, lives and POV of amazing women throughout the world of advertising, marketing, digital, tech and creativity. Started as Exceptional Women Out West, you can listen to previous episodes here. If you would like to nominate exceptional women to be part of the show, please complete this form: http://bit.ly/EWOWPitch.

Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger is the Americas editor for The Drum. He leads the Americas editorial team’s content activity in the growing region. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is committed to sharing the most meaningful stories that benefit the global industry and its people. A Minnesota native, Zanger has covered a wide range of brands, issues and personalities, including Aloe Blacc, Seu Jorge, Wendy Clark, Susan Credle, Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and more. Fiercely dedicated to diversity, equality and talent, he has interviewed several women in leadership roles through his Exceptional Women of the World podcast.

All by Doug