Meet Lisa Gersh, COO of Martha Stewart Omnimedia|
If you love anything related to Martha Stewart, chances are high that you’ve heard of Lisa Gersh a time or two. Lisa serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. She’s also got a long and glorious history at NBCUniversal, Inc., where she served as President of Strategic Initiatives and as MD at The Weather Channel Interactive. Also an entrepreneur, she co-founded Oxygen Media, LLC in 1988 and served as its the President and Chief Operating Officer since July 2004.
Lisa came into the Levo Labs to speak at Founder Fridays last week, and we had the pleasure of asking her a few questions about her illustrious career and her strategies for succes.
L(L): What are your suggestions for acquiring tech support and development for a young startup, especially when a co-founder might lack skills or resources?
Lisa Gersh (LG): There are many talented young developers. I would talk to other startups and also talk to local community colleges that are trying to fill this void.
L(L): What would you tell a recent graduate thinking about law school? How has your law degree enhanced your experience throughout your career?
LG: I loved law school and practicing law and it certainly was helpful in my career but…. only go to law school if you intend to practice law for at least some period of time. Law school is valuable but only if you practice after.
L(L): As a startup, how do you filter advice from experts, well-wishers, and mentors alike while still listening to your gut?
LG: Sounds like you already know the answer– gut is the first place to start. However, there is a lot to be said for experienced advisors. Find ones you trust. Listen. Push back. Make sure your gut is not being informed by emotion but by vision.
L(L): Grooming & feminine style in the workplace is a taboo or touchy subject, but when you walked into the WIM Founders Breakfast you commanded the room. How do you recommend using style/grooming as a personal branding business tactic?
LG: You need to create a style that works for you, not your colleagues. Even when Oxygen was a young startup, I didn’t think it appropriate for me to dress like our software engineers. Find a style that works for you and spend the time on grooming– people appreciate that you took the effort.
L(L): What advice do you have for current young professionals (especially law firm associates) who are exploring career paths and professional roadmap options?
LG: If you want to leave the law, find an industry that you are passionate about and get legal experience there. You will meet a client and hopefully that will help you transition. If you accept a legal job in house, make sure the company knows your interest is to ultimately go beyond legal practice.
L(L): What are the top 3 skills every woman needs to have to be successful?
LG: I think it is the same for women and men. 1) an ability to articulate a point of view and persuasively communicate that point of view; 2) excellent listening skills ; and 3) passion.