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Beauty Execs on Leadership Lessons Learned

Tara Simon, Annie Young-Scrivner, Psyche Terry and more share what they've learned on their rise to the top.

Tara Simon, Global General Manager, Too Faced

“I’ve been fortunate to have learned from so many dynamic leaders throughout my career, but a standout is Mary Dillon. Mary taught me the power of collaboration at every level, as well as the importance of building a solid corporate culture. I’ve known John Demsey for over 20 years and now I’m part of his leadership team, where he continues to inspire new ways of thinking and bringing out the best in our teams by tapping into hidden talents. I’ve also been highly influenced by the many brand founders I’ve had the privilege to partner with. The entrepreneurial spirit and dogged determination of Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson, Wende Zomnir, Maureen Kelly and Anastasia Soare, to name a few, keep me inspired and resilient, no matter the challenge.”

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Liza Rapay, Head of Marketing, Cosmoprof North America

“Growing up in the Philippines when I was young, my mother loved to read us books and stories that taught me the importance of empathy, humility and honesty. As I worked to establish my career, I’ve met many leaders who inspired me. One of them, Ricardo Quintero, the former [senior vice president], global [general manager] at Clinique made such an impact in my career. Ricardo would tell stories that some might find unrelated to work, but they were sources that the team could draw inspiration from. Often his lesson was that it wasn’t always about completing a task, but it was important to have a deeper understanding of the overall picture to produce a better outcome. The way he conveyed his lesson showed his passion for his work, his respect for those he worked with and, most importantly, how he inspired through storytelling is a trait that continues to influence me today.”

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Natalie Mackey, Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer, WinkyLux

“Over the years, I’ve built a network of extraordinary female entrepreneurs. Whenever I hit a wall, I know I can call or text someone a version of ‘Help! How would you handle this?’ Different friends have different types of expertise, and individually, they’ve coached me through things like hiring exceptional teams, choosing vendors, creating scalable process and even having difficult conversations. In turn, they reach out to me for projects where I’m the expert and I try to always prioritize them. Investing in reciprocal relationships has been a major key to my growth personally and professionally. Those friendships also feed my soul. I don’t think I would have made it this far without my tribe.”

Beauty Execs on Leadership Lessons Learned
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Annie Young-Scrivner, CEO, Wella

“The leaders who have had the greatest influence on me are Indra Nooyi and Howard Schultz. I had a front-row seat to Indra’s amazing career during my 20 years at PepsiCo and was privileged to work closely with her. She taught me so much about how to envision long-term strategy, build to the future state of the organization combining people, performance and purpose. She’s also shown me firsthand how to bring out the best in people by creating a high-performance culture where people can bring their best selves to work.

“Among the many areas Howard Schultz impacted me during our seven years working together, he imprinted on me the importance of giving back to the people and communities you serve. He showed me how connected business success is to community success, especially small businesses. Starbucks’ ability to serve people not just great products, but also create a community of care is truly differentiating and has built a brand loved worldwide.”

Credit: Marie Gala de Tena
Credit: Marie Gala de Tena Marie Gala de Tena

Psyche Terry, CEO and Cofounder, Urban Hydration

“I met Shawn Outler of Macy’s and immediately leaned in on her power to ignite change. I recognized how she was able to see an opportunity and engage her CEO at the time to join her in a mission that could affect the entire way the organization worked with up-and-coming vendors. Sam Abdelnour of Whirlpool has been my mentor since I was working in corporate America in high school. Most kids look for a job flipping burgers, but I set off working in sales and marketing at a Fortune 200 and reporting to the VP of sales. Sam showed me how to engage and inspire not just retail partners, but an entire nationwide staff of sales people. I learned storytelling, the power of being thoughtful to your market, your retail partner, your customer and your employees. I gleaned that everyone has a different reason for why they wake up in the morning.”

Psyche Terry
Psyche Terry

Lela Coffey, Vice President, North America, Hair Care and Multicultural Beauty, P&G Beauty

“Across my career, I’ve emulated the styles of several leaders who’ve each inspired and coached me, but as I’ve gained more confidence in who I want to be as a leader, I find myself most inspired by the people I lead. Being a servant leader asks you to know each of your employees well enough to understand what they value, what they excel at and how they’re individually motivated. Situationally shaping my leadership skills enables me to more effectively provide the coaching each of my people best needs, and develop stronger teams as a result. It’s a skill I continue to love honing.”

P&G's Lela Coffey
Lela Coffey Photo courtesy of P&G