As a young girl in Italy, Giusy was taught by her father to have a strong work ethic, but also to enjoy the challenges that come along. She is the youngest of three girls and has a close relationship with her sisters Cristiana and Ilaria. They encouraged her to pursue her passions, and she’s done just that. Here are her tips for getting ahead by making innovation fun.
Show your individuality. You have a unique way of dressing and acting—don’t hide it. Be authentic. For example, if you wear a lot of black during the winter months, add a touch of individuality. Try fun accessories that express your personality. For instance, large rings or, one of my favorites, colorful scarves. Get into the spirit of a holiday, for example, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.
Broaden your experience. Try new things—you’ll be more innovative. Instead of doing very expensive consumer research, my team and I immersed ourselves in the lifestyle of women in their twenties and had a lot of fun. I took them out for a day on-the-town in New York City. We were inspired by the fashion consciousness of the shoppers and the styles in the stores. If you’re stuck in the office all day, you don’t get that understanding.
Build your listening skills. Whether you’re in a one-to-one conversation with someone or you’re listening to your target market for innovative solutions, it’s important to hear and understand what they’re saying. For example, we made some of our feminine hygiene products more stylish because that’s what appealed to young women.
Transform your environment. It’s difficult to innovate in a boring cubicle. Allowing your work space to reflect your personality can inspire creativity. Bring your favorite cushion for your chair, a special mug, or accessorize your computer. My office has touches of pink. And I also make sure to stock our ladies room with wonderful skincare products.
Be social. It’s easy to isolate yourself when you’re tired or not feeling up to snuff. But that doesn’t lead to building the relationships you need to get ahead in business. Don’t sit at your desk–walk around, meet new people, ask questions, listen to what they say, be enriched by getting to know them.
Turn a weakness into a strength. When I came to the United States from Italy, I was VP of a prestigious skincare line at a different company. I worked with several men who didn’t seem to understand my accent. What helped was for me to use hand signals to get my points across. For example, I’d put my hand up at a meeting to express my opinion. I encourage women to share their unique ideas and not hold back.
On having fun…
I so enjoy being with my husband, Stefano. Recently, we were strolling through Central Park, asking ourselves, “How can we still be laughing after 20 years together?”
On choosing the life you want…
Listen to your heart and commit to achieving your dreams. Express yourself. Don’t just do what everybody else thinks you should be doing.
On giving up multi-tasking…
Trying to do everything at once doesn’t serve you well. Focus on solving one problem or completing one task at a time.
On advice to her “younger self…”
You don’t have to be perfect. Who you are is unique and special.