“You need to remain fluid,” Teri Gallo from Kinesso
Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women in the industry the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.
Meet Teri Gallo, Global GM Kinesso Marketplace – IPG at Kinesso. When a professor didn’t show up for a night class, she attended a lecture in its place, changing her life and launching her career in digital marketing. With 20+ years of experience under her belt, Teri oversees the global marketplace team. She’s loved every minute of being a part of the digital marketing revolution—and she got to be a part of it by having a plan (of course), but also by being fluid.
“Everybody has to set goals and have a plan, but you need to remain fluid in that. I think it's fundamental to everybody’s success,” says Teri, which is a great way to dive into the incredible stories and wisdom she shares.
The road not taken can make your career.
“My road not taken story. Clearly, much less eloquent than Frost, but it's super relevant… One evening, my professor had to cancel our class last minute and requested that instead of attending class we go to an association of women in communication speech being given by a local executive named Diane Staley, who happened to be a future mentor of mine. She talked about the transformation marketing would go through and the changes consumers would experience with the advancement of digital technology... That evening, I sent Diane a note, and I got myself an internship, which was incredibly exciting.
Now, fast forward 20 plus years, and I've never, never left digital—it's in my DNA. And that was really a bigger career-defining moment. It was it was more than that, it was it was a career-making moment for me; it was absolutely monumental…”
Don’t miss moments.
“I have seen some people who have very disciplined, good planning capabilities and skills, and they know what they want to be, when they want to be it, and so on and so forth. But they lack the fluidity, and they're missing moments. And I don't think that they recognize and accept that the path won't always be a straight line, and that sometimes the best experiences, opportunities for growth, or ways to accomplish things is coming through the moments that you're not able to plan for.”
Being exceptional is table stakes.
“Being exceptional at your craft is table stakes. A lot of people think that's all they have to be… but if you can't combine that with influence and bringing people along on your journey, your growth is really going to be limited, particularly if you aspire to be in a leadership position… Because I have myself at times thought, ‘I'm great at this’ or ‘I can do this really well’… but you have got to combine that with the ability to influence—so critical.”
Everyone is replaceable.
“This may seem a little bit rough, but everyone is replaceable… I've found myself a few times in my career believing that someone who was truly exceptional at their craft couldn't be replaced, and that individual, those individuals, sometimes lacked all of these other skills that were necessary to be a successful person in the organization… The best employees are really the ones… that are fully balanced and have capabilities in many different areas—and people skills, that really matters.”
Look around the room.
“I do think even sort of the most natural and passionate supporters of women… should also always check themselves… Look around the room. What does it look like? Look at your team. Is it reflective? Look who is invited to the event or the golf course. Is it inclusive?.. It's not just for women, it's for everybody. Essentially, we want, and we all benefit from, inclusion and diversity.“
Learn from everybody.
"I've been really fortunate to have received a lot of great support, advice, and guidance from a lot of different people, those that I respect, those that I hold dear, and those that maybe not so much. I certainly wouldn't be here today without it and heeding it. I do believe you can learn from everybody and extract a lot from different perspectives and observing people and speaking with people."
Teri is both a mentor and a mentee, taking in wisdom—some of which she shared here—and imparting it to rising stars throughout her career. In particular, she has been working to help BIPOC individuals in her organization navigate their professional growth. When she’s not leading and inspiring her team or spending time with her family, Teri is geeking out on the news, listening to business audio books, or jamming to everything from classic rock to contemporary favorites.
“I’m doing more listening than watching,” she says. “There’s something out there for everybody!”
Want more great advice from powerful women. Check out more Pass the Mic content.