Citi’s Global Chief Brand Officer on Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

 Carla Hassan, Global Chief Brand Officer of Citi

Just last week, Citi announced that Carla Hassan would be joining them as their new global Chief Brand Officer. I had the great honor of sitting down with her the next day to dive deep into her new role, what she’s excited to take on and where she plans to start. As both a purpose- and performance-driven marketer, Carla is in her ideal role that will allow her to shape and impact the Citi brand on the outside and the inside.

We also cover some incredibly personal topics that have had an impact on Carla’s perspective along the way.  Most notably, Carla is a working mom who has gone through tremendous strain throughout her life and career and yet has managed to remain one of the most delightful, charismatic, thoughtful, empathetic leaders I have ever met.  As we talk about her struggles in dealing with painful harassment for being a Lebanese immigrant in the U.S., to overcoming cancer that threatened her daughter’s life, we talk about the lessons learned and how they shaped her leadership style today. 

I’ve spent a lot of time working with great leaders dissecting the topic of empathy already, such as Rick Gomez, CMO of Target, Chris Capossela, CMO of Microsoft, Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, just to name a few.  And we talk about all those prior guests in Carla’s podcast as well.  But, if you ever had any doubt on the value of empathy or why that needs to be a business imperative, you must listen to this incredibly honest, raw and wonderful episode with Carla. 

 
For me, empathy is not just getting to know who people are, it’s also about understanding what people have to deal with in their business issues day in and day out so you can help them add value into an organization.
 

I’m terrible at asking for help, but I’ll give it a go. I would really appreciate your help in sharing Carla’s podcast today so we can all be reminded to do a better job of being empathetic to each other.  It’s not just about being human, albeit that’s my favorite part, it’s what will drive growth in organizations, in lives, in happiness when we can understand, support and celebrate the things that make each one of us different.

Follow Carla on Twitter @chassan and LinkedIn

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