Anyone who knows Kim Kelleher knows she keeps it real. So, it comes as no surprise to many of us in the media and marketing world that Kim is a big believer of authenticity and consistency, or in other words, embracing her whole self. Recently, Kim made the leap from publishing to television, with a few stops in digital media (and support from her “girl gang” along the way). Here, Kim shares some of her valuable learnings, all of which are worth leaning into.
How did you get to where you are today?
It’s been a journey. Over the past 27 years, I have spent time in several publishing and digital media companies—so the shift that is occurring in the television industry today has similarities to what I have experienced in print and digital over the past several years. It was only a matter of time before I made the move to television.
What pivotal moments did you face along the way?
"I am definitely drawn to complex and evolving landscapes..."
I have always been open to opportunities that others have overlooked, whether too risky—my start-up history with Cityspree or Say Media, or too niche—running Golf For Women Magazine or SELF. Before diving into something new, I thoughtfully evaluate the business model, business reputation, the people running it and the marketplace to determine the scope and size of the potential opportunity. I am definitely drawn to complex and evolving landscapes and am energized at this point in my career to be at a place like AMC Networks, which has a history of punching above its weight and really driving popular culture.
Who has helped you in your journey?
I am blessed with a girl gang that I am deeply grateful for and to ... Wendy Clark, Jacki Kelley, Wenda Harris Millard, Erika Nardini, Dyllan McGee, Meredith Levien and so so many more badass, kickass, brilliant, successful women. They have all helped selflessly over the years—we are there for each other and understand the challenges we have all individually and collectively faced.
What do you see as the major opportunities and challenges for women today?
More and more, I am finding companies and executive boards seeking out women’s POVs and leadership styles. However, and unfortunately, the seeking out it is still primarily being led by enlightened men, of which there are still too few.
What advice can you share?
"I am an advocate for consistently being your whole self at home and in the office."
I am an advocate for consistently being your whole self at home and in the office. I find trying to compartmentalize is often not the most efficient approach. By being consistent in your personality and style in your work and home life saves valuable time. It also gives the people around you context to the way you think and how you prioritize. I like to be around people like this and endeavor to be one myself.
How do you think about balance between your personal life and career?
It is always a work in progress. I strive to be my best, most consistent self at home and the office. Some days/weeks/months are better than others, but I try to forgive myself when the balance is off in an effort to keep moving forward. Having a great husband, Deutsch CCO Dan Kelleher, and kids Brendan (age 13) and Declan (age 11) that are proud of me helps.
Knowing what you know today, what one thing would you have done differently early in your career?
I don’t spend a lot (if any?!) time looking backward. Sure, there are situations that I could have handled better at the time which would have possibly afforded better outcomes. But for the most part, I think that we are all a product of the circumstances we have lived, good and bad, they make us who we are. And hopefully, you like who that is.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, money or talent would be no object, what would you be doing?
I would definitely be traveling—exploring this incredible, great big world with my family. Moving place to place, learning, helping when needed and being grateful for all that is.