Season 1, Ep. 11: An Interview with Adrienne Roark

Do you actually want to hear the viewpoints of people who you don’t agree with? Adrienne Roark, President of CBS Television Stations, does—because she believes that’s how you learn. Understanding that journalists are storytellers, Adrienne leads with the belief that news stations can change lives for the better, hold people accountable and remind people that they are not alone. Check out the last episode of the first season of Questioning Leadership and learn from Daniel and Adrienne! Feel free to reach out to Adrienne at

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(We use an audio transcription service so please disregard any errors below.)

Daniel Harkavy (00:02):

Hello, everybody. Daniel Harkavy here. Welcome to another episode of questioning leadership, a podcast that is built and sponsored by building champions or executive coaching company. And I think as most of you know, we’ve spent the last two and a half decades, journeying side-by-side leaders like you to help them to be the best they can be in business and in life. And in this podcast, I am just absolutely loving the conversations that I’m having with really diverse, gifted, passionate leaders. Today’s no exception in the moments ahead. You’re going to get to hear a wonderful conversation with Adrienne work. Adrienne is the president of CBS television stations at Viacom, and she shares a whole bunch of passion and some insights on an industry that we all rely on. And that has radically changed in joy, our conversation. I’m confident that it will not only equip you. I think it’s going to inspire you. Alright, Adrienne. So everybody’s heard a high level overview as I introduced you moments ago. I’m just so grateful that you would invest time to share with me and all of those who are joining us to listen into this episode of questioning leadership. Thank you

Adrienne Roark (01:23):

All. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to do.

Daniel Harkavy (01:26):

Yeah, I think we’re going to have a good conversation. So folks, what I usually get to do before I hit record is, you know, we, we get a little casual, warm up time. We get to connect. I get to reconnect with my guests and, and just in, so doing, I actually wish I would have hit record and built it into, into this episode because what you’re in for is you’re in for a ride with a leader who has both passion and courage. And I think that’s going to be evident as we have our dialogue, but Adrienne, before we do, you know, at building champions, we say that better humans make for better leaders. And I always like to unpack the human side of my guests because I so deeply believe this. So help us to understand maybe three to five things that will help the audience to know who you are outside of work,

Adrienne Roark (02:14):

Outside of work, outside of work

Daniel Harkavy (02:18):

In the moments ahead. Yes.

Adrienne Roark (02:20):

Cause that’s such a, for all of us, that’s such a defining thing, but you know, I am a lifelong learner and I can elaborate on that later, but I am, I, I feel like that the minute you stop learning is the minute you stop growing. I have enormous heart. I cry happy tears quite a bit, but I, you know, yes, I have an enormous heart and you know, I, a personal thing about me, I’m a mother. I have two boys, 21 year old and a 14 year old. And my husband is a stay at home dad and I am blessed. They are my foundation. They are my Zen.

Daniel Harkavy (03:00):

I love it. I love it. Yep. So where’d you grow up?

Adrienne Roark (03:06):

Grew up in Northern Ohio. In Kent

Daniel Harkavy (03:35):

I love, I love what you shared. You know, at building champions, we coach leaders around the topic of vision. That’s one of the areas. We, we move into a conversation and advancement with them and we say that every leader needs to be crystal clear on their convictions because your convictions help you to create culture, right? Because convictions impact behaviors. And those behaviors will be the defining guardrails for culture. And at building champions, one of our convictions because of me is that we are lifelong learners because we can only give away what we possess. Right. So when you share that as number one and then your huge heart happy tears, I love that. Yeah. A lot of connecting points. So thanks. Cool to get to journey with you, Adrienne. So you’re a guest on the podcast, not only as a result of the success that you’ve enjoyed in business and as a community leader, but I was fascinated by the unique role you play in an industry that is so influential and it has undergone such radical change over the past few decades, massive and how it’s impacting society. Yeah. So tell us about your career and leadership journey. Maybe take us back a bit and then bring us all the way up to your now what you’re doing. And then like we talked earlier, tell us why you’re doing it to,

Adrienne Roark (05:04):

So I am at heart, career-wise a journalist. I never let titles define me. I am a journalist at heart. I started as an intern. I had, I had the privilege of starting in a local television station in Columbus, Ohio that was filled with amazing journalists. I can safely say I learned the foundation of my journalism journey through those folks, through those people and was so lucky to have that level of mentors. I mean, I, some of them are still on my personal board of directors as I call it my my consultants. But I started as an intern. And when I walked into the newsroom, I knew that was the, that’s it, this is where I have to be every single day. I love it. And the reason I loved it, not only is it highly energetic, but we were really doing something that mattered, no local television news, as you said, you know, as you said, television news and our industry has undergone staggering level of change over the last three decades.

Adrienne Roark (06:12):

But one thing has always held true is that local, local television and local journalism. I mean, I I’ll put the newspapers into this too, but local journalism. It is, it is a personal connection with the people in those communities and television stations. Local stations have held on to that. I mean all through this transformative change I did pretty much every job in the newsroom because I felt like I had to learn every possible aspect of it. Also. It kept me around long enough that they finally just gave up and gave me a part-time job. I just stuck around and I think they were like, okay, fine. Let’s just give her a job. So I was a videotape editor for, for a while. And, and I remember sitting in the, in the edit booth look, listening to the news meeting that was going on in the newsroom and thinking, okay, I want to be at that table.

Adrienne Roark (07:05):

I want to, I want to have the voice at that table talking about what are we, what are we presenting to the viewers every day? And so I found my place at that table as a producer writer producer, and I was a producer. I became an executive producer, and then I moved up into the management ranks, worked all over the country Ohio, and then Florida, and then Texas, and then ultimately Oregon. And now I’m going back and forth between Oregon and New York and in most host of other cities. And, you know, I, I worked my way through the ranks in news and became a news director and loved that because I could lead a group of people and collaborate with an incredibly creative group of people through great times, but also through some of the hardest times. And you really become a team when you go through things like that. So it was a, it was great. And then I became a general manager of a TV station because I realized at that time that I could do a better job protecting journalism, local journalism in that role than I necessarily could as a news director. And that ultimately led to the position I’m in now, where I’m now the president of the CBS owned and operated television stations. And I oversee the east coast and a few in central. So, but ultimately at the end of the day, I’m a journalist

Daniel Harkavy (08:42):

Journalist who happens to be sitting in a, in a big seat in an industry that is it’s a crazy industry. So what I like about the format of this podcast is I can just go wherever I want, because I’m questioning leadership. So you, you mentioned your personal board of directors and that’s something that I know some are really intentional with and others just have a casual group of individuals that they always go to for mentorship. How does your personal board of directors as you called it, help you and tell us a little bit about that.

Adrienne Roark (09:24):

You know, first of all, I wouldn’t be sitting in this chair if I hadn’t had people who helped me. I mean, there’s no way. And I learned early on that, you know, what you can learn from so many different people, not just people in this industry. Yes, a lot of my board is made up of people who have gone before me in this business, but it’s also made up of people who do a lot of different things, but look at leadership through protect perhaps a different eyes. And you never know when somebody, a new board member is going to show up, you have no, you never know when a new mentor is going to come your way. And you’ll be like, wait a minute. And the mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be somebody that’s gone before you. I just, I just came last week. I was at our station in Dallas and I had the opportunity of meeting a new reporter. I met a lot of people that I met a new reporter and a new producer, and just listening to the two of them, talk about their journey from college and into this business. I thought, oh my gosh, I can learn so much from these two and where the business is going. And so welcome to my board.

Daniel Harkavy (10:37):

I love it. I love it. I talk about intentional curiosity and it connects back to that conviction of yours, which we share, which is lifelong learners. And I just see that as a, a common attribute of the best leaders, they are the front row sitters in the classroom of life with their journal open with their questions already being mapped out because they’re just so hungry for knowledge. They want to understand not just the what but the why.

Adrienne Roark (11:06):

Why the why you know, I it’s, that’s what I’ve spent. I’ve been in this position for three months, and it feels a lot longer, but in a good way. But I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the why and reminding people not only in, in CVS, but in the industry have reached out to me, you know, the why of what we do and the why. And it goes beyond just work. It’s the, why are you, why are you doing what you’re doing in life? And, and so I feel like that’s just been an amazing opportunity because it’s reminded me of my, mm

Daniel Harkavy (11:41):

That’s good. What’s your why?

Adrienne Roark (11:45):

My, why is to help people? It has always been. And I know that seems very broad, but I can put it in context with my business. I got into this business for one reason, and I get emotional when I talk about it. It is to help the world make help, make the world a better place. One story at a time

Daniel Harkavy (12:09):

In the story at a time.

Adrienne Roark (12:10):

Yep. Cause that’s what we ultimately are. It journalists are ultimately storytellers. That’s what we are. And so I just, you know, I, I remind my team constantly, remember this, this is our, why we’re public servants. We’re here to help make the world a better place, change laws for the better hold people accountable. Tell a great story that just makes somebody smile, remind people that they are not alone and they are connected. And that goes beyond my work. I always feel my why is to help as many people as I can, especially, especially young young people.

Daniel Harkavy (12:50):

That’s where we connected folks. You’re going to hear more about this, but building champions launched a new not-for-profit called set path. It’s a community benefit, not for profit where we’re bringing life planning and mentorship to young adults ranging in age from 16 to probably 30. And we’re about ready to get really loud with this and help as many people as we can. And Adrienne and I connected over that conversation and that topic. And she’s become a, a great advocate and partner in what we’re doing. And, and she doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to be asked to do more. I might even do it on the podcast to put you on the spot.

Adrienne Roark (13:29):

Okay. Bring it on.

Daniel Harkavy (13:31):

All right. I, I, I, I’m, I’m really curious because as you talk about, you know, your why and what it is that you all do in the news industry, I look at my own life in the last couple of years. And I think one of the things that has been so hard for me is trying to navigate truth in, in the last couple of years. So folks, we’re recording this mid November, 2021, and I know I’m not alone. I mean, I’ve journeyed with so many people over the past 20 months and the ambiguity and the the, the shifting perspectives and the divisiveness and the what is real, what is not real has caused such levels of discomfort and stress for me and for, I think, most humans. So here you are sitting in a very influential seat in an industry that has radically radically changed and an industry that impacts how I feel, because I trust you. I need to trust you. I need to know where to go. So, Adrienne, where have you been going for your news over the past 20 months? What are you trusting?

Adrienne Roark (14:41):

I trust local

Daniel Harkavy (14:42):

News, local news. Huh?

Adrienne Roark (14:45):

I, I, and I don’t just say that because I’m sitting in that part of this industry, I work for CVS. CBS is local and network, and I trust CVS, but I, I go to local news because those, those journalists are a part of the community. They’re not just parachuting in covering something and then parachuting out. They are a fabric of the community. I also, I mean, I go to a myriad of places though, because I think it’s increased. I think it’s incredibly important not to just hear one voice and one viewpoint as lifelong as a lifelong learner. I have to hear, I want to hear viewpoints that maybe don’t, I don’t agree with because that’s how I’m going to learn. I go to some, I do, I do what I call a redone. I read probably 20 to 30 different, I mean, I scan, but I go through 20 to 30 different local news and local and network news sources and newspapers as well.

Daniel Harkavy (16:03):

Okay. I am going to get into leadership. We’re going to definitely be talking leadership but I think about your journey and what you’ve done. You’ve had to have some crazy stories when you were in the, the journalist seat. And do you have any like, oh, this was the absolute crazy winter story. That was just nuts.

Adrienne Roark (16:31):

Oh, gosh. Well I worked in Miami, so Miami is one of the busiest, I would say news markets in the company, in the country, probably on par with Los Angeles. So we always had some very, very unique stories, car chases, hurricanes, and you know the stories for me that, you know, yes, I could go through a myriad of crazy stories, but I look at the stories that have the most impact and that, how did we, how do we react as journalists to those stories and how did we turn those stories into change? So those that’s, that’s generally how I look at it, but you know, you don’t have a long enough podcast for me to fill up how many crazy stories I’ve covered.

Daniel Harkavy (17:20):

No bet. Yeah. All right. Well, I’ll save that conversation from an owner together in Portland. All right. Let’s talk about leadership. You’re now in this role where your leader leadership decision-making and influence is needed more so than probably any other role that you have served in. And as you look at leading now in the seat for the last 90 days, tell us a little bit about what you believe to be is your, your greatest, how do you win right now?

Adrienne Roark (17:51):

Right now is leading with empathy and care. As you said, it’s been a very hard past several years and for everyone everyone’s gone through so much and, and journalists as well have gone through so much. And for me, my number one role, my number one job in this role right now is to take care of the people that are in these television stations and remind them that they are valued. They have a voice that they mean something and that what they do is incredibly important. And then also tell it, remind them that I am here. I listen, and I have their backs.

Daniel Harkavy (18:41):

How many direct reports do you have?

Adrienne Roark (18:46):

Eight general managers of television stations. Okay. But I interact with all of the leadership teams at each station. And I mean, anchors and reporters and photographers and producers, I mean, you name it. I, I, like I said, I was just at our station in Dallas and spent three days there and interacted with practically the entire staff sales, everybody.

Daniel Harkavy (19:12):

That’s great. New in the seat. You’re, you’re, you’re forming your rhythms right now with those eight GMs. And I’m curious, this is actually, I just flew in from Atlanta. I’ve been with leaders for the last few days, different leaders and the topic of being game ready for your one-on-ones and your prioritization of the actual one-on-one and your belief around it, the value and the import of that really matters. So with those GM’s, how are you going about your one-on-ones? Are you having a regularly scheduled what’s that look like?

Adrienne Roark (19:48):

Yes. They always have a regularly scheduled point each week. They know they have me uninterrupted, but that said, I spend enormous amount of time talking to them all around those, all around those set one-on-ones. Yeah. You know, the biggest thing, as I said for me, is, you know, about caring for my people. It is also being there when we, when they need me knowing that if they need something, I’m going to drop everything and be there for them. That’s that’s critical. Yeah.

Daniel Harkavy (20:23):

Yeah. So, Hey, listeners, there’s something here that it just it’s dawned on me. It’s really obvious. And it’s not just as a result of this conversation, but it is the conversations that I’ve been engaged with over the past several weeks, for years, I’ve said the one-on-one is so important. And I wrote a book called becoming a coaching leader. And the whole, the premise is that if, if manager leaders will really place the highest value they possibly can in their role on developing those that they get to serve, they’ll multiply the effectiveness and they will create real lift in the organization. And what I am seeing happen in November October, September of 2021, is that most good leaders are having one-on-ones, but their preparedness and their belief that that one-on-one can be a game changer. Isn’t where it needs to be. So there’s an opportunity for many of you listening, whether you’re sitting in the C-suite or whether you’re aspiring to at some point, be able to serve at a greater capacity, the one-on-one, your preparedness, your clarity around your desired end result. You’re looking at past conversations, you’re understanding your teammates, why you’re really listening when, when Adrian shares empathy and care, when she shares that she’s really listening. And then when she shares, they know I have their backs. That’s so big, and that’s not the norm. That’s not the norm. So a little coaching opportunity there, as well as an affirmation for you, Adrienne, as you’re developing your rhythm and your rituals in this, in this role, right. Path, you’re on the right path.

Adrienne Roark (22:11):

Thank you. Thank

Daniel Harkavy (22:12):

You. So if we’re going to be talking about disciplines, are there any daily disciplines that you have that really help you to be game ready? And that help you to be the best that you can be? That the most important things you’re doing, you know, Monday through Friday, if so, what are they

Adrienne Roark (22:29):

When you say disciplines? What do you mean?

Daniel Harkavy (22:31):

I’m going to say things that you will absolutely do each and every day, and they could be handwritten notes. It could be working out. It could be a 20 minute meeting with your executive assistant chief of staff to get ready or debrief at the end of the day. They’re just the things that, you know, if I do these things, I am going to be best positioned to win.

Adrienne Roark (22:54):

I get up early every morning and run. That’s a personal one for me. One that has risen to the top that was not at the top prior to this position is getting enough sleep, just talking on a very personal level. And then with, with regards to, to work, it is checking in, as you said, with my executive assistant. And when I say check in, I check in and just see how her weekend was, how is she doing? Cause she’s got a lot on her plate and I just wanted to always serious, see how she’s doing. And then we discuss whatever might be coming up during the week. And then I spend Sunday part of Sunday, going back over my notes from the week before, especially with my general managers and with the stations to really stay on top of their priorities and help them. If there’s something, you know, some, a challenge they’re dealing with, so that I’m ready going into the week for them. And we’re not playing a cat. We’re not necessarily having to do a catch-up because their time is just as valuable. If not more so than mine, you bet. And I want to make sure that whatever time we spend together is incredibly productive for them. And they feel like, okay, yeah, she’s plugged in. She knows what’s going on. She’s here to help us. That’s really critical for me.

Daniel Harkavy (24:21):

Yeah. See that. That’s again, you having this belief that your role is that servant is that coach is that individual who is a resource to those leaders in your jobs to help them to win and to flourish. So to hear that you go, that you invest a part of your Sunday to think about them is a really big deal. And I want people to know that this podcast, there are themes that are happening right here in this conversation that truly lead to two-day coaching sessions that I just came out of with different leaders, to where the leaders are saying, Daniel, we want to up our game in the coaching and development of our people. We’ve got five years left. We have seven years left before we leave this post and we want to multiply our effectiveness. And what you’re saying you’re doing is where they have opportunity to make an even greater difference.

Daniel Harkavy (25:16):

It’s that allocated one by one, thinking time where you’re thinking about them, what do they need to be the best they can be? Right. And I will also share with you that as many of you have heard in previous episodes, I believe that thinking time has been what has been lost over the last 20 months, because when we went from meeting together live, when we went from having drive time and fly time to just zoom time where we could fit in 15 meetings into a day that we used to only have four meetings in, right. You’re thinking, it’s that thinking? It’s that, Hey you have a few minutes, I’ve been thinking about something I’d like to talk to you, right. Or space in between meetings. And and I think that’s actually for many leaders, if we don’t get that right. And if we don’t build in thinking time, as we’re now moving into the future of work, whether you’re going to be in the office five days a week, three days a week, not at all, whatever, that’s going to look like. We’ve got to have a non-negotiable discipline of what we call on-time thinking about working on, reflecting on so that you can continue to bring more value to the business and to those you lead you’re so

Adrienne Roark (26:41):

Right. We’ve gone to a point where like, if you, my son looked at my calendar last week and he goes, mom, it’s my 17 year old son. He said, mom, your calendar looks like Jenga the game checkup. And I said, yep, you’re right. It does. He said, how are you in two meetings at once? I said, I’m not. I said, I’m working on that. But what he did notice, he said, what are these gaps in between now? And I said, those are 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes time, literally deliberately put there. It just says, hold open so that I can take a pause and think as you’re right, our world, our world got faster.

Daniel Harkavy (27:24):

Yeah. We got a lot faster and a lot more compressed.

Adrienne Roark (27:28):

It’s now Jenga.

Daniel Harkavy (27:29):

Yeah, it is. All right. So you’re a runner. You’re focusing on sleep. Your one-on-ones are huge. Your Sunday reviews are huge. Your connection, your empathy, your listening. You’ve got both head and heart. And then you’ve got real-world experience. Your teammates know you’ve been in their shoes and you get it. And you’ve got a huge passion around the why and the importance of your industry, which is great. It’s great. All right. So I’m gonna give you an opportunity to speak to a younger you, if you could give advice to a younger, you, what would it be?

Adrienne Roark (28:07):

That’s this one I know have patients take a pause before answering, entering, giving your opinion, speaking up, take a pause. Before jumping to judgment. I had somebody once tell me I move at the speed of light and I that’s great, but there’s also a downside to that. And, and so over the years, I have really pushed myself that, you know what, you’re not, you’re not listening to answer or listening to respond. You’re listening to hear and truly understand. And I, that’s probably the bit, those are the biggest piece of advice I would say to the younger me and the younger me. I would also say, as a joke, don’t pluck your eyebrows for the love. Just don’t do it. Just don’t please don’t do it.

Daniel Harkavy (29:12):

I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that advice shared

Adrienne Roark (29:15):

Before. Hey, just a small little piece of advice. Don’t do it. Right. I would also say that the younger me, and I would say this to anybody, get into a routine of self-care understand that you’re no good to anybody else. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s so important. And you know, it took me years to learn that and I still fight it, but that’s why I get up and run every morning.

Daniel Harkavy (29:42):

Good for you. You’re a, you’re cool. And you got good stuff you got,

Adrienne Roark (29:48):

I’m trying to pay. I’m I’m as good as the people around me and my team and my family.

Daniel Harkavy (29:53):

Your, your wisdom to the younger you is it’s spot on. This is one that I hope a whole bunch of people will listen to. So if you’re listening to us leaders and you’re, you’re already in those high influence roles, and you’ve got kids that are in their teen years or 20 years, this is one that you just want to share because that whole patients that take a pause, you know, don’t be so quick to give your opinion, suspend judgment, that don’t listen to respond. Listen, to really hear that active listening piece, trying to understand the why everybody has a story. What you’re talking about is empathy and empathy is always required in order for us to have the highest levels of trust and then intimacy as humans and for leaders who can build that level of empathy, that level of trust your teammates, they’re going to be so much better off as a result of having the privilege of serving with you. They’re just going to be better off. And in today’s times, as we’re talking about this attracting talent, retaining talent especially in some of the different areas of expertise that are just so difficult, you know, technology, engineering, et cetera, if people really feel like they’re cared for, and they really feel like they belong. Yep. They’ll think good and hard before they get a big paycheck opportunity to jump from your ship to another. They’ll fill it in hard. Absolutely. And many will take a pay cut to come work with you if they feel that.

Adrienne Roark (31:25):

Yeah, I did that in my past life. I took, I took several positions like that because I felt that that feeling from that organization cared about me. They actually cared about what I had to say and what I could offer. Yeah,

Daniel Harkavy (31:40):

That’s good. And then I would say everybody, don’t miss the self care piece and I’m watching that one. I’m watching that one everywhere. I’m watching mental wellbeing, mental health, emotional wellbeing, relational challenge across the board. I’m seeing some real, real casualties. And we always say, self-leadership always precedes team effectiveness, team effectiveness, always precedes organizational impact. And that’s why, yeah. That’s why we’re doing the whole set path thing. That’s why I wrote living forward with Michael Hyatt. Take care of yourself, take care of yourself. You can only give away, you know, the energy that you’ve got.

Adrienne Roark (32:21):

Sorry. All

Daniel Harkavy (32:23):

Right. So personal question. How has your career impacted your personal life? Both good and bad. Only comfortable only with what you’re comfortable sharing.

Adrienne Roark (32:35):

Always my career impacted my personal life. You know, my business is nomadic and so I have moved. We have moved, as I mentioned, I’ve lived in four different states now, a fifth, and that has had both that’s posed a challenge, but it’s also been an amazing positive experience for my family. But, you know, it’s a challenge when you’re moving young kids. And even when they’re a little older from one place to another, you see through their eyes, their, their fear. And, you know, as a parent, you carry a level of guilt, but then you find out on the other side of that, that they learn from every place they lived and have these rich experiences and have a confidence level going into something new that they, they feel. So their friends, a lot of their friends don’t have. So there’s both positives in there and their challenges.

Adrienne Roark (33:36):

And I think that, that, that that’s the biggest impact. I would say that my career has had on my life is that my family, they, you know, they are my rock, they are my Zen, but they have moved a lot for me and sacrificed a lot and I will be eternally grateful to them for that. And so when this opportunity came up, that’s when I said to them, you know, it’s my turn. My 17 year old son is finishing high school in Portland and he will finish high school in Portland. And so my family is there and I am in New York and I go back and forth.

Daniel Harkavy (34:09):

That’s a big commute

Adrienne Roark (34:11):

That has a bit of a commute. Yes. But you know, in the world that we’re in now, I mean, I can work from Portland. Yeah. And so, and I’m so fortunate to work for such an organization that is so open to that. And so I, you know, I feel like that’s the best thing for them. Plus they get to come visit New York. They like that.

Daniel Harkavy (34:33):

Yeah. New York’s pretty cool. Yeah. That’s pretty cool. Returning a bit back to normal. There

Adrienne Roark (34:38):

It is. It is definitely. I mean, you know, Broadway’s back, that’s a sort of the heart that as soon as you hear that, you’re like, oh, okay. So yeah, no, that’s good. That’s good.

Daniel Harkavy (34:49):

Thanks for sharing. And I can see it. I could see. And I appreciate you saying that you dealt with a bit of guilt on that. I, I know that many execs deal with a bit of guilt just because most execs and like we talked about before we started record, you know, we, we spend time elsewhere and that goes with the territory and it does come at a price. And then the nomadic side where your kids have had to learn that perseverance of going out and starting again and starting again and starting again. Yeah. You see the upside and see how that will help them in new environments. They’ve been here, done that before.

Adrienne Roark (35:27):

You know, I was fortunate through all that though. My husband has been a stay at home dad for 20 years. And so he’s the rock whole thing. So, and interesting side note to see how that’s changed over the years, how that was received when we first did, when he first decided to stay home versus now. Yeah. Yeah. But it’s, he’s my rock. So he’s their rock too.

Daniel Harkavy (35:50):

So good. Yeah. All right. Most of us have all had one or two people that saw something in us. When we were younger, they saw something, as they transferred hope into us, belief into us, they called something out of us. They called us up to be who we are. You have those one or two. And if so, who were they in? What’s the story?

Adrienne Roark (36:13):

Number one is my dad. My dad made me realize very young and has very, very little girl that he would, he would, he would pound his fist on a table and point at me and say, don’t you ever take any, you know what, from anybody you can do and be anything you want to be. And it was constant to the point where I’d be like, oh, dad, don’t do this again. You know, when you get older, you’re like, oh no, but he was right. He and he, he showed me and still shows me to this day. You can do anything you set your mind to. And then I have to give credit to my third grade teacher, Mrs. Reagan ball. She she knew we were real. I was really close friends with another boy in my class and that she, he had a very troubled home life.

Adrienne Roark (37:06):

But she knew that he was going to have to repeat third grade and his parents weren’t necessarily the best communicators. And so she said to me, she said, I’m going to talk to him about this. Can you help? But I’m, I’m bringing you into my confidence first. Can you be there for him after I talked to him and I’m, I’m a third grade kid and one that acted up periodically. So I caused her, I caused her eggs. I know that periodically, but the fact that she trusted me to be there, to help him made a massively lasting impression on me. And it really just taught me the value of faith and trust in people, regardless of if they’re a, a sometimes annoying third grade kid.

Daniel Harkavy (37:56):

That’s crazy story.

Adrienne Roark (37:58):

Yeah. I’ll never forget the crazy story. And he, and ultimately it was the right decision for, for him. And, but I was able to help him navigate some of that and stay friends and we still are to this day.

Daniel Harkavy (38:11):

Really cool. Yeah. All right. Two more questions real quick. When you in Portland again,

Adrienne Roark (38:18):

I am back Friday. I’m there all next week for Thanksgiving.

Daniel Harkavy (38:22):

Okay. Well, we’ve talked about getting together with Sheri Cadaswan, and we need to do that. Maybe Shannon. You’re awesome. Final question. Butterflies. You’ve got them behind you. You’ve got them here. Butterflies story of butterflies. You know, what, what do they mean to you?

Adrienne Roark (38:42):

They are it’s transformation, but it’s more than that. It’s they are, they may appear fragile, but they are unbelievably strong. And by the way, what’s in those butterflies that you can’t see is that’s all, that’s a concert, that’s a concert, a poster from the dead and company. So there’s all kinds of music, imagery built into all those butterflies. So ads and everything. So

Daniel Harkavy (39:08):

Yeah, you and my wife have the butterfly and common shares got hers right here on the shoulder. So there you go. That’s awesome. So, Hey folks if we’re all sitting together live, I’d say now’s the time to clap for Adrienne? What, what you get with Adrienne is you get years and years of leadership experience and you get experience in an industry that I think every one of us has so relied on. You get some tips for sure. But the one thing that I get from you which I think we all need right now more so I wish you, you all could see the conversation because you know, she says she cries, happy tears. She also cries passionate tears. And what is going to continue to accelerate her influence is her heart and her mind, it’s her heart and her mind.

Daniel Harkavy (40:00):

And right now leaders, our teammates need our heart. They need us to listen. They need us to transfer a belief in hope. They need us to paint a picture of a better tomorrow to remind them of a why leaders, if you’re having a challenge at all with emotional drama within the team, if you’re having a challenge with retention, if you’re seeing an increase in turnover, if you’re having difficulty in recruiting, I would just ask you, how has your heart, how you showing up, how you, Karen, are you making time to connect? Are you preparing for your one-on-ones? Are you doing your Sunday reviews? All of this takes immense energy. Are you taking care of yourselves, getting asleep, getting your runs and getting your meditation, your prayer, whatever it is you do in order to be the best version of you. That’s everything I heard. Adrienne. And I just thank you.

Adrienne Roark (40:50):

Well, thank you. This has been a great, great, it’s been great spending time with you.

Daniel Harkavy (40:56):

Likewise. Likewise, if people have questions or if they want to follow you, is there a way that you would like for them to reach out?

Adrienne Roark (41:04):

Sure. I’ll give you my email address. Okay. It’s

Daniel Harkavy (41:12):

Oh, wonderful. We’ll put that in the show notes as well. Awesome. Adrienne, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I look forward to connecting with you when you’re in town. Thank you very much. Thank you for all your passion for young people. And when you’re in town, I’m definitely going to ask for more.

Adrienne Roark (41:27):

Sounds good. I’m here. Thank you. Thank you.

Daniel Harkavy (41:33):

Okay. There, you have it. I hope you enjoyed our conversation and I hope it does cause you to reflect on where you’re at in your own self care, where you are from a passion and a heart perspective, your why, how prepared you are for your one-on-ones with your teammates. Maybe the tip there, the affirmation there had to do with listening and had to do with maybe slowing that active mind down, or maybe as you’re looking at the year ahead, you’re going to, you’re going to build in some more margin for on-time for thinking. I got a ton out of that conversation. One thing that I would reflect on is the perspective of the outsider. She’s got that board of directors, folks speaking into her life. And I would ask you in the year ahead, who do you have speaking into your life? Who are you intentionally wanting to meet with so that you can pick their brain, get their perspective, learn from them, their mistakes and their victories.

Daniel Harkavy (42:31):

The perspective of the outsider, I think in today’s times is just of critical value. You can learn more about that in the seven perspectives of effective leaders. You can get it wherever you get your books, either a audible or hard copy. And again, if you enjoyed this episode of questioning leadership, please subscribe. Please give us a rating. We’d love your comments and your feedback. Share it. We want to make the greatest difference we can here at building champions. And we’re grateful for you investing the time to listen in. I hope it helps you to be a better leader in business and in life. Take care.

In This Episode

Adrienne Roark
President, CBS Television Stations at ViacomCBS