Kristine Shine, Founder & CEO of Shine Talent
Kristine Shine
President and CEO Shine Talent + Advisory logo

The Top Thing Holding Women Back From Achieving Career Success

Kristine Shine is fierce in all the right ways. Former President of the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Gate, as well as Chief Revenue Officer of Popsugar, Kristine decided it was time to make a substantial move in a different, yet complementary, direction. Meet Shine Talent. Kristine’s exceptional leadership strengths and passion for helping others succeed came together at a pivotal moment when she decided to launch her own business. Despite having achieved maximum success at other companies, taking the leap to start her own business came with that one thing that holds so many back in their own careers…Fear. Have a look at Kristine’s story below for her tips on how to break through and create your own roadmap for success.

Tell us about what you are doing now.

I own an executive recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Leadership and team building for Sales, Marketing, and Media. I launched my firm, Shine Talent, just under two years ago after an amazing and fun career as an executive leading and building teams at start-ups and Fortune 10 companies.

My greatest joy has always been growing companies and helping people develop themselves and their careers.  I now work directly with CEO's and leadership, leveraging my operational expertise, to help them design their organizations for growth and bring in the talent that delivers on the company vision.

How did you get to where you are today?  What pivotal moments did you face along the way and what inspired you to do what you are doing now?

I was blessed to work under outstanding leaders like Joanne Bradford and Brian Sugar who saw my potential and allowed me to make mistakes along the way.   They both opened the door to opportunity for me and there was no way I would fail them, myself or the company working under their leadership.  I am a deep believer that hard work and honesty will always win. I learned early in my career to hire for the skills you don't have and I built diverse teams that had very different skills and experiences than I did.  I owe my success to the teams I built, the people I hired, and the leadership I gave them.

I decide to take the leap to launch my own firm because I really did understand that identifying and nurturing talent was one of my greatest strengths (Brian Sugar actually told me that my second career should be to build a recruiting firm - he was right!).  I had thought about it for years and one day, when sitting in a board room, I decided it was time.  I knew time it was time to challenge myself differently and I felt I had the skills to impact a broader set of people and companies.  It was scary taking this leap as I was the primary supporter for my family and honestly, I did look back  - at the paycheck, the 401K, the health insurance - all of it.  I knew in my heart though that this was my true purpose and when fear or uncertainty crept in during those early launch days, I leaned heavily back into what always made me successful - hard work, perseverance, and one foot in front of the other.

What do you see as the major opportunities/challenges for women today?

I work with a lot of women and I find many carry more fear than men - or maybe we are just more open about it.  Fear can be the death march for any career or entrepreneurial endeavor.  I believe men and women all have an outstanding opportunity to create the life they dream of, which includes an exciting and fun-filled career.  Work should not feel like work and you have to find the courage to make a change if you are unhappy.  Your skills can transfer.  You MUST believe in yourself and work like mad to live the life you dream of.  We ALL have the opportunity to do this but fear holds too many back.

What solutions or advice do you have for women who want to embrace them?

I’ve developed a workshop that helps people get to the career life they dream of.  It starts with writing a career vision.  It's amazing how many women have just stayed on the same track, and built a great career but are not loving what they do.  Taking jobs and advancing up the corporate ladder without addressing where your heart is can put you in a position that ties you in financially or makes you feel that a linear path is the only way.  In no way is that the case.  Spend the time to write down your career vision and then build a roadmap to get yourself there.

How to start on your roadmap? Take the time to truly identify your “superpowers” and to lean into them. Where are the areas you excel? Hone in on those and continue to develop them. If you are unsure about your superpowers, reach out to people you’ve worked with in the past or present, family members, friends and get a “360” view on not just what you think, but what others see in you. Great leaders know what their superpowers are and know how to hire diverse teams that complement themselves.  Develop your career vision, understand the skills you have or need to compliment and map your career in ways that allow you to assemble and flex those skills so you can realize your vision.

Who helped you in your journey and what advice did they give you that really shaped your thinking?

There are many who helped me on my journey but most of all the teams I hired who killed it at their jobs and made me look great every day!  With regards to advice, I've learned that you need to listen to everyone but be thoughtful on what advice to take and not take.  People give advice based on their own experiences, which is wonderful, but every situation is different.  You need to listen to the advice, learn from those around you but ultimately know your business and feel confident in your own decision making.

What one thing would you have done differently early in your career if you had the right bit of advice?

I've always had a lack of patience which has served me well, as well as, at times, not served me so well.  I think the advice I would have had loved to have had is that situations are always changing.  Know when to apply your influence to be the change agent and know when to sit back and simply be patient, letting the situation resolve itself.

Any final tips to share?

This is your life and your career.  OWN IT!  Never let anyone tell you who you are and what you are capable of.  Take feedback intently and seriously and apply it to your growth.  People give feedback because they care.  It's a gift.  Apply to your work and build to the career vision you dream of.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, money or talent would be no object, what would you be doing?

I AM doing what I want to do.  I am a huge risk taker and I will always continue to pursue my dreams.  This is my next 20-year career path and then I hope to parlay this work into philanthropy.