I had the opportunity to attend the Advertising Women of New York “Changing the Game” Awards, hearing from inspiring women business leaders in all walks of their career. The women honored are no-nonsense ladies who have made bold moves and transformed brands by changing the rules. Donny Deutsch, CNBC host and moderator for the event, stood up and addressed everyone in the room saying: “You’ve got to be better at asking for what’s yours.”


The women business honorees were chosen from categories including “No Apologies” (Creating whole new business models, industries or marketplace opportunities); “Brainwave” (Changing the way a brand or product is marketed); “Paradigm Shift” (Changing the way a customer segment or target audience is approached);  and “Quantum Leap” (Changing the way an organization is aligned to proactively meet new challenges).

We can all learn to change the game in our own way.  Some of their game-changers?

  • Become a leader by heading right into the challenge. – Anna Maria Chávez, Girl Scouts of the USA
  • Listen to your consumers for that “aha” moment. –  Leontyne Green Sykes, IKEA North America (She gave an example of mattresses here in the U.S. comparing our needs to those in their European demographic using the size of her award box as an illustration – cool!)
  • Be nimble and generous with your thinking.  – Rachel Birnbaum, JWT
  • What works for me, may not work for you. Know that not everyone will have your same working style and feel comfortable about that (especially if they’re working for you).  – Julia Stewart, DineEquity
  • Think about ways to elevate your brand simply. – Stevie Benjamin, MillerCoors (She discussed how Coors Light worked with The Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” to pitch a post-show, “After the Catch” with beers for the talent).
  • Ask for advice from people who know more than you and don’t be afraid to listen. If it isn’t practical, don’t take it, but know that you’ve still learned something.- Rachael Chong, Catchafire
  • Leading in a time of change is unlearning what you know. -Alison Lewis, Coca-Cola
  • We talk about ROI, but how about measuring ROP, Return on Passion? – Lori Senecal, kbs+


Do you agree? Do you ask for what’s yours?  How are you “changing the game”?