Perspectives - Kate Silver at Leo Burnett Melbourne - Exhausted and grateful

By AdNews | 10 December 2021
Kate Silver.

AdNews is following the WFH Diaries with a series of Perspectives, asking two questions: What did you learn in 2021 and what are you looking forward to in 2022? We've also encouraged the industry to glam, dress for the best, and face next year with optimism. 


Kate Silver, Leo Burnett Melbourne General Manager:

This year I farewelled my mentor and boss, Melinda Geertz, from her role as long-serving CEO of Leos.   When she told me, I was shattered and panicked – it was a defining moment where I had to think long and hard about what I wanted next.   

Melinda had, unbeknownst to me, gently set me on a future path - a path that would see me part of an energised, progressive and awesome team that would be charged with reshaping, reimagining the future of Leos.  So here I am… new role, new boss, new challenge, new outlook.  For me, 2021 has been a big year.  I’m exhausted, I’m also exceptionally grateful, but most of all, I’m pumped for next year.

What I’ve learnt:

I am a sucker for personal tips.  They’re helpful to keep the inner monologue in check.  And my current favourite is thanks to my new CEO Emma (Montgomery), whose old CEO handed to her: “Don’t hold on too tight”.  These five words are a reminder to loosen the grip on things and create the space for others to learn and grow. 

I’ve learnt that the concept of balance is false, and that our obsession to grasp it, can, for me, create the opposite effect. I’m completely at peace with the notion that we yo-yo from ‘no-time-for-a-loo-break-busy’, to less…busy.  It’s about maximising the time we do have, than beating ourselves up for not fitting it all in.

I’ve also learnt that the industries and people we serve are changing faster than most of us are prepared for.  And this is the one that keeps me up at night because the level of disruption isn’t on one front, it’s across all.  The what we do and how we do it has to change, and while it’s immense, it’s also exciting when you get to help build and shape that new offering.

What I’m excited for:

(Touching every wooden surface)…no more lockdowns!  More fun, more in the office, more banter, more spontaneity, more collaboration, more creativity, more lunches, more face to faces, more everything.

Starting the year fresh with a new plan, a vision for the agency and our clients.  We’ve been really diligent this year to take the time to plan for what’s ahead. Nothing’s been left on the table, and we’re so committed to making it happen.  The energy to make it real is palpable.

More time for my team.  Working remotely has robbed everyone the ability to grow and learn.  Everybody’s been in the trenches and I’m excited to get our heads up and out.


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