C-Suite: Sarah Clark

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,272 views 

Sarah Clark

Class of 2020 C Suite Sarah Clark CEO Mitchell, a Dentsu Co., Fayetteville

FAST FACT: Clark started at Mitchell in 2010 and was named CEO in 2017.

What is the best business advice you have ever received? Surround yourself with great leaders and then get out of their way. “Let it go, and it will grow.”

What is the best business advice you have ever given? You get what you give, so speak and act with candor, authenticity and truly care if you want to gain and nurture trust. “Be totally present where your feet are planted.”

Has it been a good thing or bad thing in terms of how the pandemic has altered your business’ strategy? At Mitchell, we take great pride in being agile and nimble, but the pandemic has accelerated our agile thinking and digital transformation more than ever before. Consumers are holding all brands to a higher standard, and expectations are high for companies to do social good in society. This has made us look through a self-reflective lens to ensure we are the company we say we are in every way and delivering what our customers and consumers need and want. And, what are the tools, technology and data intelligence we need to help us deliver faster and easier? This is helping us to reimagine our business and future more than ever before.

What’s the first app you launch on your phone each day? Outlook.

Describe your morning routine. I look at my devotional message of the day. I then check my phone for urgent email or messages — no judgment, please. We are a global company. I turn on the morning news while I get ready, and then I finesse the various ways to get a 12-year-old out of his bed.

What keeps you up at night or worries you the most? I often asked myself if I am doing everything I can to help our team and business succeed while protecting and nurturing our culture. Am I engaged in all the right places? Am I removing the roadblocks I need to remove? Are we being collaborative and inclusive in everything we do? Are we upholding our values? Are we all thinking big picture and not just the today? All of those pivotal moments that can truly make a difference.

If you had $1 million to give, what would you support? I would support organizations that dedicate their resources, time and love to better the lives of orphans worldwide. Every child deserves the opportunity to be loved and have hope.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing? I would own some type of business focused on children.

What has been your toughest leadership challenge during the pandemic? It is no surprise that for a large majority of businesses it has been tough to maintain your financial stamina during this time when clients and companies you serve have also been impacted. Like many, we have had to make some tough decisions, ones that impacted the team we care so much about. When you go through these times, it is easy to just think about the here and now rather than what the long-term game should be. Leaders cannot take their eye off the ball and must apply their current learnings to the future state of their business and ask themselves, “What do we need to do to position our business now for long-term growth?”