1 Day to TheGrill! 6 Ways to Be a Boss Like A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc

Advice from a Grill speaker: Be ready to pivot, don’t stress and keep that ego in check

Nancy Dubuc’s climb to the top of A+E Networks has been a journey through nearly every department within the company, from programming to production.

Now CEO and President of the network, Dubuc sits atop one of entertainment’s leading networks with hit shows like “Duck Dynasty,” “Project Runway,” “Dance Moms” and “Pawn Stars.” She will be appearing at TheGrill conference on October 5 and 6 in Los Angeles, joining producer Brian Grazer, Box CEO Aaron Levie, YouTube’s Robert Kyncl and other thought leaders in media and entertainment. (You can register here.)

In a recent interview with The New York Times, the exec opened up on what it takes to be the boss.

1. Be able to pivot.



“…Because I was part of so many different households, I was able to be a slightly different child in each one of them. That openness to change was ingrained in me at a very young age. I think it helps me to this day, because I can walk into a meeting, size it up and pivot. That’s not something you can teach.”

2. Don’t stress about the outcome.



“…As I look back on it, so much of what we worry about is the outcome, and outcomes rarely turn out the way you think they are going to. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have patience and discipline and drive during the process, but only thinking about the outcome is in some ways very singular, because the outcome might be something different, and it might be better.”

3. Keep your ego in check.



“…People either hire people who are smarter than them or people hire people they can control. I see it over and over again. I’ve always hired people who are smarter than me. I rowed crew in college, and I’m always thinking in those terms — will they make the team better?”

4. Dig deep.



“Another pattern I’ve seen is that managers will sometimes complain that one of their employees is difficult to manage. But those difficult people also tend to be the best performers. Sometimes managers don’t realize that they actually have to manage people. You have to figure out what motivates them. Great managers recognize that there is no one way to manage. You may have to be 10 different managers to get the best out of your team.”

5. Trust wins all.



“I need to trust who works for me, and they need to trust me. Trust is just paramount. And the more people say, “Trust me, I’m here for you,” the less I trust them. It really needs to be trust by action.”

6. Be an active problem-solver.



“I value people who have something constructive to say and can make things better. Anyone can have an opinion about what’s wrong with something. I can’t stand the pile-on effect when something didn’t work. But then somebody might say, “Well, what if we did this?”

Join Nancy Dubuc and TheWrap for two days of hard-hitting, intimate conversations and networking opportunities set at Montage Beverly Hills. For more information, go to: http://thegrill.thewrap.com 

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