IWF UK Leadership Stories: Sally Doganis

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Sally Doganis shares her Leadership Story, giving us an insight into ‘the world of television', often dealing with a number of crises at any one time. In learning to prioritise and delegate, Sally was able to inspire new teams to win significant awards within one year.

What does being a leader mean to you?

Creating a team which has a clear vision of its tasks. That team has to be sensitively and thoughtfully guided to fulfil those tasks. To do this you need regular meetings where team members can share ideas, strategies and problems.

What have been the one or two biggest challenges in your life and how have you overcome them?

In my world of television there are frequent crises. The biggest challenge is to stay calm and clear headed when all about is high drama. Often that’s not easy as there may be more than one crisis at any one time. I have found that the key to solving the problems is to prioritise and, where possible delegate.

What do you regard as your greatest successes, and why?

I was headhunted to join a large TV company, where I was charged with developing a strategy which would help the company to improve its image and to create a more successful profile within the industry.

I, with others, was charged with rebuilding the company image.

In one year we created new teams and worked hard to develop a fresh brand by commissioning and producing some well publicised standout shows.

In just over a year we managed to win every single award in the industry. A real success.

I was then made a Fellow of the Royal Television Society for my ‘outstanding’ contribution to the industry.

How has your leadership style changed over time, and why?

I delegate more. I have learned how to trust people more and I appreciate how important it is to give young people responsibility. Critically, I have also learned to differentiate between important and less important decisions which lightens my work load considerably. I am no longer worried about making mistakes as they often have useful consequences.

What advice do you have for younger women aspiring to leadership roles?

Watch and learn. Always be willing and enthusiastic. Be positive but not obsequious.

Sally Doganis

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