“Vulnerability makes you approachable,” Hilary Batsel from Microsoft

Jan 2, 2024

Welcome to Pass the Mic and the Live Lessons series. Life happens in the moment—and so do opportunities to pass the mic. We’re having live conversations with powerful female leaders, giving them the opportunity to share their wisdom and mentor the masses.

Meet Hilary Batsel, Senior Director, Global Media at Microsoft. Hilary’s love for media stems from her agency upbringing, influencing her audience-first approach. She’s passionate about coaching teams to succeed together, approaching leadership with honesty and emotion. When she’s not leading with empathy and empowering her team, she’s walking her dog, Gizmo, and taste-testing new local spots in San Diego, CA.

Hilary joined Jocelyn Hudak, Director, Content and Digital Marketing and Sophie Anderson, Associate Director, Podcast Sales Marketing for a Pass the Mic interview at Advertising Week New York. Get ready for some motivation, and give this powerful conversation a listen.

Pass the Mic with Hilary Batsel - Full interview

We're human. And we sometimes make mistakes, and we learn from those mistakes. I grew as a leader by embracing that and being more vulnerable to my team.

Hilary BatselSenior Director, Global Media at Microsoft

Embracing all of yourself, staying in the moment, and creating safe spaces for true collaboration—we need more of all of it. Here are some more highlights to ruminate on.

We’re human, sometimes we make mistakes.

We’re human, sometimes we make mistakes, Hilary Batsel - Pass the Mic

Highlight: “The fact of the matter is we're human, and we sometimes make mistakes, and we learn from those mistakes. And I really think I grew as a leader by embracing that and being more vulnerable to my team.” - Hilary Batsel

Stay focused in the moment.

Stay focused in the moment, Hilary Batsel - Pass the Mic

Highlight: “One of the big pieces that I've learned is trying to stay really focused in the moment. Chris Capossela, who's the [former] CMO at Microsoft,* has this amazing ability to make anyone in the room feel that you are the only person in that room, and what you're saying is truly important. And it's just staying present, and staying focused, and being curious, and listening. So, I very much have tried to emulate that.” - Hilary Batsel

*Mr. Capossela was the CMO at the time of this recording.

Welcome diverse opinions.

Welcome diverse opinions, Hilary Batsel - Pass the Mic

Highlight: “I think a lot of early-in-career individuals think collaboration is: Everyone has to get along. And that's not really collaborating. It's actually welcoming diverse opinions and having open conversation about why there's different viewpoints. In the end, you're going to get a better outcome because of that—and that's really effective collaboration.” - Hilary Batsel

How you work transcends what you do.

Asking for advice, Hilary Batsel - Pass the Mic

Highlight: “I started out in the industry thinking what I did and the impact I was making was going to be what helped me evolve and grow. But in reality, promotions or advancement really came from how I did my work, the relationships that I built, how I helped with others when they needed assistance, how I collaborated or brought different viewpoints. And others speaking for you, or how you did that work, I think really transcends the work you're doing.” - Hilary Batsel

How Hilary opened up and shared tells us plenty about what an amazing, supportive leader she is. Want to hear from more kick-ass women? Check out more Pass the Mic content.

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