Emily Nichols, CEO

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Not to toot my own horn (but, to do exactly that) I’ve been told I have CEO qualities. Until now, I’ve always been flattered, but never understood what this meant. Now I think I know how to channel my inner CEO and exude my best leadership and teamwork characteristics so I can become a really wonderful boss one day.

This semester, I worked really hard with a group of five amazing girls on a public relations project called HOOKED: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona. Here’s a quick project promo video we created:

Throughout the project, I studied myself as a teammate and leader very carefully.

Me (center, although not intentionally) and my favorite team!
Me (back + center, although not intentionally) and my favorite team!

I realized my leadership style comes from the following sources: Experiences working for a wide variety of leaders, studies in the Humphrey Seminar at ASU, reading Creativity Inc., and my results in the true colors personality quiz.

Here’s a bulleted list of my takeaways from each (implementation style TBD):

From Creativity Inc:

  • Hire people smarter than me
  • Take research trips before big projects (like Disney+Pixar did before Brave)
  • Don’t walk in to the room last – it frustrates people
  • Proclaim a course as a leader, it is okay to correct yourself later on
  • Do not cling to what used to work
  • Challenge colleagues, but don’t act superior
  • Meet employees where they live – get on their level and talk to them accordingly
  • Invest in workers needs / diverse interests
  • Embrace failure
  • Talk about mistakes

From the Humphrey Seminar

  • I was not born a leader. Instead, I was born with leadership qualities that I can strengthen
  • You can’t categorize my style concretely, but it has most similarity to:
    • Charismatic leadership
      • A charismatic leader injects enthusiasm and inspiration into followers and can lead by being willing to perform actions that might not usually be willing to perform
    • You do not always have to be right to be a leader

From my past work experience + bosses:

  • Clarify deadlines and expectations with teammates and employees
  • Lead by example
  • Keep work professional. Also be a real person, not a machine
  • Do not be passive aggressive

From the true colors personality quiz:

  • I am an orange and gold
    • Orange is witty, charming, spontaneous, consider life a game, impulsive, generous, impactful, optimistic, eager, bold, competitor
    • Gold is loyal, dependable, prepared, punctual, stable, organized, caring, concerned
  • Someone with an orange leadership style:
    • Expects quick action
    • Works in the here and now
    • Performance oriented
    • Flexible approach
    • Welcomes change
    • Expects people to make it fun
  • Someone with a gold leadership style:
    • Expects punctuality, order, loyalty
    • Assumes “right” way to do things
    • Seldom questions tradition
    • Is rules oriented
    • Detailed/thorough approach – threatened by change
    • Prolonged time to initiate any change
    • Expects people to “play their roles”

From all of these different learning sources, I see room for improvement, especially when it comes to accepting change. Also, I see one predominately common theme:


That will be the foundation of my leadership style. FUN.

Wish me luck!