I've been thinking for a while about what my next blog post should be. Once you start a blog, you feel a pressure to keep writing, to keep being interesting (if you ever were). And whilst those who know me well would be shocked, recently I couldn’t quite work out what to say!

But whilst sitting and watching Bloomberg news - Jeffrey Katzenberg gave me the subject. His interview with Emily Chang about his new business Quibi caught my interest. He was talking about how innovation and technology has affected his industry of animation and what he did about it.

He has the most fascinating story and I heard so much of myself in what he was saying.  The thing that piqued my interest though was what he called his North Star. His North Star is what he said guided him through all he does. He used two words - Exceeding Expectations – and how throughout his life, those two words are what guides him. Never has someone I don't know (although I know his work – The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Shrek) put so simply what drives me. 

Those who work with me know that exceeding expectations is what I live my life by. Sometimes, this means you aren’t overly liked, but knowing that what I do each day, that what I ask of my team each day is to try and exceed any expectations set of you, gives me and them a great focus. My team know that that is what we ultimately try to achieve. And that when we do – we all reap the rewards.

When Michele De Stefano released her legal chief innovation officer paper early this year she stated that a goal for teams like mine was to delight clients – which for me are other words for exceeding expectations. You can't always achieve this, especially when expectations rise, but if you try then you will succeed. Granted - not all the time, but generally when it really matters. There are other things that help to give you the platform for this – managers, mentors, leadership who accept and forgive your shortcomings but through everything give you the backing you need. They do this because they see the drive and passion you have. I truly believe that what you put into life (and work) you will get back.

So – in the effort to open up discussion – what is your North Star? What guides you?

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Kerry Westland

Kerry Westland

Partner, Head of Innovation & Legal Technology

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