img_kitty_lunContinuing its celebration of Women’s History Month, the WLN NY has added Kitty Lun, Chairman and CEO of Lowe China, to its roster of senior women being interviewed about leadership, their experiences and their inspirations.

Kitty Lun, Chairman/CEO, Lowe China

What hurdles have you gotten past/overcome to get to where you are today?

There are a lot of difficulties and challenges every day. I have to overcome them and move on.  However, I never consider these challenges hurdles. Hurdle is a state of mind. They are always there and we have to solve one problem at a time.

What are some qualities/traits in yourself that have helped you advance? What are some traits you see in men that help them advance that we can learn from?

I only look forward, not backward.  I do not cry over spilt milk, nor bathe in past glories.  You are as good as your next campaign.  So I always focus on the next task, the next month, the next year.  I guess this is not very romantic or feminine.  Being rational and having a clear mind, not allowing any emotional feelings to cloud our judgment is probably what we can learn from our male counterparts.

What characteristics in general make for strong leadership and are those harder for women to own?

Charisma.  Have a vision and be ready to share.  Be willing to take responsibility.  Walk the talk.  Lead by example.  Create an environment that is productive and at the same time appealing for people to enjoy coming to work every day.  I think these characteristics are gender neutral.

How does your significant other deal with the demands of your career? Do you have advice on how to make it work?

I have been in the industry for 34 years and married for 33 years.  I am fortunate to have a husband who is also a creative.  He understands what it takes to be in advertising.  We give each other space and support for each other’s developments.  My advice: we ask for room for ourselves, but we should also be willing to give room to our partner for his or her work, and make sure that we give all the support we can give.

How do you stay relevant?  Innovative?  Keep your ideas fresh?

Be curious.  I have diverse interests and I read A LOT, average 3-4 books/month, any kind…. And a lot of magazines.  I love movies.  I travel a lot. I have a wide range of personal hobbies.   I have been quoted, “advertising creative people cannot lead a ‘pale’ life which will lead to ideas that are ‘pale.’  Enrich yourself!  You never know when your knowledge will become part of your creation.”

If you could give one piece of advice to the aspiring women of IPG agencies, what would it be and why?

Be yourself.  Work hard.  Do not dwell on failures.  Set achievable goals and focus on achieving them, and don’t be distracted.