Interview with Dineo Thompson, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP

For this year’s International Women’s Day, our team at Slice is proud to celebrate women across the marketing and communications industry through an interview series.

This interview is with Dineo Thompson, the Chief Marketing Officer at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP. Read our full interview series here.

How do you define your leadership?

Communication is probably one of my greatest (learned) strengths. As such, I lead by facilitating open communication, and try to give everyone a chance to capitalize on his or her strongest skillsets. I think this is the first step to establishing an environment rooted in trust and respect; one that rewards creativity, pushes boundaries, and even challenge conventional thinking. In the end, I want to foster a culture that values the celebration of successes, learning from failure, and create an environment where people feel valued. The result: a team effort that produces at levels greater than the sum of its parts. 

How has your leadership changed in the past year?

I ask for more advice. Whether it be from peers, my direct reports, and even the people I report to, I will get multiple points of view on an issue (personal or professional), before making a final decision. It’s not that I didn’t ask for advice before; I now ask in cases where, before, I might have felt like I needed to have all the answers, and had concerns of being judged. This past year has taught me that there’s a powerful vulnerability at play when you ask someone for her advice. And when people do offer up that advice, it allows you to see them in a new light; to connect with colleagues in a way you hadn’t before, put their skills to even better use, and accelerate the formation of meaningful relationships. This type of connection is especially important when working remotely.

Can you share a story that demonstrates a key learning for you in your leadership journey?

In my first managerial position, I adopted a “collegial” leadership style. The head of our organization at the time had a more bureaucratic style of leadership, which really stifled innovation and morale. Against this backdrop, I thought the solution was to try and be more agreeable, friendly and tell my direct reports what they wanted to hear – huge mistake! As I learned about leadership, and with the help a phenomenal career coach, I focused on improving on a company’s conventions by creating strong teams that could communicate well and embrace each other’s unique skillsets in order to get work done. 

Who do you follow on social media that you would recommend to other women leaders?

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Kerry Washington
  • Brene Brown

Thank you to Dineo for taking part in our interview series. And be sure to read the entire series!

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