“Do it with excellence,” Shenan Reed from General Motors

Jun 24, 2024

Meet Shenan Reed, Global Chief Media Officer at General Motors, where she is responsible for building a leading-edge global media team that accelerates the company’s media approach to the future. With over 20 years of experience, Shenan is a highly sought-after leader who regularly presents at major advertising and digital media conferences. Her insights and opinions have also been cited in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Adweek, to name a few. She also plays an important role as part of several advisory boards for companies such as Pinterest, ANA Media Council, SeeHer, and more.

As a strong advocate for developing the next generation of female leaders, Shenan was a 2023 212NYC Thought Leadership Honoree, selected by AWNY as a Changing the Game Winner in 2016 and an AWNY Working Mother of the Year Honoree in 2015. When she’s not at work, Shenan enjoys time with her husband, two children, and their beagle Pebbles, named for the Flintstones character who grows up to be an advertising executive.

Shenan sat down with Jocelyn Hudak, Senior Director, Content and Digital Marketing, at the Automotive News Leading Women conference in Detroit. She spoke about working with excellence, taking the time to slow down in a fast paced world, and so much more. Plug in to hear Shenan’s words of wisdom below.

Pass The Mic with Shenan Reed - Full Interview

Ask a lot of questions and be super curious. Start with wanting to do whatever task you were given with the absolute excellence of that task.

Shenan ReedGlobal Chief Media Officer, General Motors

Do work with excellence. 

Do work with excellence, Shenan Reed - Pass The Mic

Highlight: “I think for anybody who's coming into the industry, I would always say, ask a lot of questions and be super curious. Start with wanting to do whatever task you were given with the absolute excellence of that task. And I don't care if that task is, ‘Can you get me a coffee, or can you put these logos on a slide?’ It may seem super tedious. Do it with excellence, because that kind of work ethic starts to show when things get easier. And it also gives you a baseline of I know you can do work with excellence, so when something does go wrong, you've got this incredible baseline that you've already built of excellent work behind you. One mistake isn't going to be your downfall.” - Shenan Reed

Build a community. 

Build a community, Shenan Reed - Pass The Mic

Highlight: “I really like being a dot connector. I really love the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, you're having a conversation about this thing. You're also having a conversation. You two should talk to each other.’ I don't need to be the middleman on this. How do I build a community of people who are constantly growing each other? ” - Shenan Reed

Move rocks. 

Move rocks, Shenan Reed - Pass The Mic

Highlight: “My favorite team meetings, when I would sit down at my one on one’s with folks, was literally, ‘What rock can I move for you this week?’ It's the simplest question, but if I can move one rock for you, what is it? And if it helps you get your job done better and faster, everybody wins.” - Shenan Reed

Take a minute. 

Take a minute, Shenan Reed - Pass The Mic

Highlight: “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.’ It's one of my favorite quotes because it's that pause and edit, pause and take a minute to find it. And I think my dyslexia has actually been a bit of a gift in that regard. That and I also just see things differently.” - Shenan Reed

Use positive reinforcement.

Use positive reinforcement, Shenan Reed - Pass The Mic

Highlight: “The best way that you train is through positive reinforcement. The best way we get the most out of the people that we work with is through positive reinforcement. It doesn't mean you don't correct behaviors that are not headed in the right direction. You don't let the dog eat the chocolate, you pull them away from the chocolate, but then you reward them when they actually go for their kibble instead. So making sure that you follow through on positive reinforcement ultimately gets better results.” - Shenan Reed

We’re feeling inspired, ready to build stronger communities of women, and finding time to slow down in the bustle of life. If you’re craving even more inspo from badass women like Shenan, check out the Pass The Mic page

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