Elizabeth Christensen: Managing Director, Americas, Eyeota

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Bio:

Elizabeth serves as the Managing Director of Eyeota, a global leader in audience data. In her role, Elizabeth focuses heavily on executing go to market strategies for new products, driving revenue growth, and developing agency and partner relationships across the region. She has spent over a decade career building and solving problems in the digital space. She has turned strategy into reality, growing departments from the ground up, running engagements with clients and partners, building product solutions and ultimately implementing smart solutions. Previously, Elizabeth worked at Xaxis, where she was part of the early team that helped catapult a company of 300 in 20 locations to an efficient, multi brand, $1B company with 1,500 employees in 45+ markets.

What do you do best?

I commit. When I decide I am going to do something and announce it to my colleagues, friends or family, I mean it. If something interferes with my commitment, I feel like I’ve let them down. For example, in my previous role at Xaxis, I managed the relationships with Demand Side Platforms and was committed to gaining more transparency on their roadmaps with insight into what they were delivering for us and when. It took a few years to get right, but I implemented a function to manage the process and implemented quarterly reviews of internal global priorities. We then set up communications channels with the partners that included a transparent (to them and internally) system to manage product requirements and a quarterly review of what they were releasing and how it stacked up against what we wanted. This ultimately made our global stakeholders agree to our “asks” because they were part of the process, and they accepted the platform partners’ roadmaps because it was transparent and communicated frequently.

What makes you the best?

I care about people as much as I care about results. I know the importance of balance in life and I try to give as much as I can to both my work and personal life. At work, I care about my colleague’s performance and happiness. I respect them and expect that they will give as much effort to work as they do to their personal life.. I’ve often encouraged my team to take their full vacation because we all deserve a break. I also have a dedication to showing results. Measurement is important to success. Creating clear goals and measuring how we deliver against goals is the best way to show results. If we are clear about results in the office, success will come.

What are your aspirations?

I see myself as a COO of a mid-sized company. I love seeing how different departments interact and how if done right, all work towards common goals. I like focusing on efficiency, scalability, strategy and mostly growth. I think working in a mid-sized company offers the most flexibility and nimbleness with enough stability to warrant a focus on better operations. With operational stability – clear process, ownership, accountability, and communication channels a business is better prepared for growth and change. I believe the responsibilities of the COO are to keep the ship on course in the direction the CEO sets.

On a more personal note, I would love to have more time for fitness. I’ve run four marathons thus far, and each time has been exhilarating. To me, the keys to happiness is being healthy and having more energy for my family and career.

Biggest Success?

Becoming a mother and realizing that life always has more to offer you. Before my daughter, it was hard to imagine how I could fit another person into my life. Having a child made me realize how adaptable one can be and how important it is to have more than one thing to focus on. As a mother, some days are not always perfect, but as a business woman, I know I’m succeeding.

Because of my life change I was able to realize that your career is a journey and failure can be ok because success can come next. One project I worked on for three years had a lot of ups and downs. There were days when I felt like years of work were going to be washed away, but I looked at every “fire” as a new challenge in the journey. Going home and seeing my family recharged me for the next day. In the end, we launched an entirely new workflow and system for a 100+ person team that included more accountability and uncovered some miscalculations that were costing the company money. In the end it was a success.

Most Challenging Moment?

Wow, life is full if challenging moments and while I don’t know if there is ever going to be a “most challenging,” I can talk about one that was very challenging. When I returned from maternity leave and my daughter wasn’t even four months old, I was asked to travel overseas for work. I was part of the leadership team, which was in a bit of disarray. After being out for a few months, I felt like I was very far behind and could not afford to say no. Simultaneously, I could not financially afford to bring my daughter on the trip, which would have been preferred. However, I felt that if I wanted to solidify my spot on the leadership team, I need to be present to represent my department. I negotiated a shorter duration for the trip and went. It felt like my heart was in two places at once but I made the right decision. I was able to represent my department at the bargaining table and ensure our contribution was seen and heard. If I had not been present my team and my own position may have been deprioritized.

Motto?

“If the past weighs that much, the future will set us free.” It basically means commit to decisions, let go of the past and look towards the future.

People often see a number of “tasks” as representation of their worth. They have a hard time when teams grow or a new manager comes in and their responsibilities are redistributed. As we progress, our jobs and responsibilities change and that is growth. If you let go of the things you were doing, it means you have more bandwidth to do new things and the new things are what keep you moving forward in your career.

Favorite People/Role Models?

One of my favorite people is my husband. He is the complete opposite of me. If I am like the Energizer bunny, he is like the wise owl. Because of him, we are recycling much more than we ever have, which is great for the world. It’s not the easiest thing to do but it’s the right thing. Sometimes the person closest to us is the one who can also be the most annoying! But he gets me to talk about my daily challenges and supports me so I can work hard. On top of all that, he makes me laugh.

There are a lot of people in this world who serve as role models and many that serve as reminders of who we don’t want to be. We all have good and bad sides and can’t be perfect all the time. I’ve been fortunate to have had some really good bosses and mentors who believed in me and supported me along the way. My previous boss, Dr. Mark Grether, listened to my ideas about operational improvements to the company and supported building the department of Business Operations to help the company become more efficient. He also taught me a lot about leadership and helped me to recognize that while we can’t all be perfect 100% of the time, we can be honest and supportive of one another.

Favorite Places/Destinations?

I love visiting my parent’s cottage on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I grew up spending every summer there with my mother’s family and am fortunate enough to be able to send my daughter to visit her grandparents during the summer. The lake is like a time hop—it’s clean and the atmosphere away from urban life is revitalizing. Aside from that, I love traveling to anywhere there are large bodies of water, like Montauk, NY, or to places where I can experience different types of wines, like the Loire Valley or Tuscany.

Favorite Products/Objects?

I am a pretty big fan of Brooks running shoes…they have carried me through many miles on the road. I also love Le Creuset cookware and feel very authentic and chef-like when I use it. On the tech side, I am partial to my Macbook Pro.

Current Passions?

Cooking with local ingredients! My office is close to a farmer’s market, Union Square Greenmarket, which is there three times a week. Over the summer, I’ve visited often to find fresh produce from local farms and fish from coastal waters. I am also fortunate enough to have a local farmer’s market near my apartment in Brooklyn every Sunday. So my summer passion has been seeing how many meals I can make with entirely local goods!

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