Every person dreams of having a wise, funny mentor who understands the challenges they face. I got to chat with a great one in Cathie Black. She was the head of Hearst Magazines, and managed the financial performance and development of some of the industry’s best-known magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, and O, the Oprah Magazine.
She has been named one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women” and Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” but she offers advice as if she were your best friend. In her book, Basic Black; the Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life) she offers invaluable lessons that will help you land the job, promotion, or project you’re vying for. You’ll find out how to handle interviews, which rules to break, and why you should make your life a grudge-free zone. Filled with surprisingly candid, personal stories and advice, this is maybe, the only career guide you’ll ever need.
The question is, with the advent of technology, is there a role in the future for magazines? “Not if we stay the same,” Ms. Black says. “That’s what I think the world is all about today. It’s about being open to change, open to rethinking things, it’s about encouraging creativity and being very much a part of the digital space.”
Ms. Black, and I’m using this term of respect because in a “live” interview I had with her on the phone, I referred to the woman who helped start Ms. Magazine with Gloria Steinham, as the “Chief Gal at Hearst.”
How many shades of red can you imagine, rushing to my face ?
But, the consummate pro, she never skipped a beat and continued on as if she didn’t hear my faux pas. She emphasizes that life isn’t about reaching the top in everything you do, it’s about creating a fully rounded existence, one that encompasses deep satisfaction with your personal life, work, and family.
And, forgiving people who often engage their mouth without consent of their brain.