As members of the Atlanta Chapter, Teresa Caro (AMA Board Member) and I were eager to attend AMA's October Signature Luncheon just by its title alone:Journey Beyond The Comfort Zone. What we didn't know beforehand was how inspired and entertained we were going to be.

Guest speaker Scot Safon, General Manager of Turner Broadcasting's HLN (formerly CNN Headline News), intrigued us with insights into how 25 years as a marketer prepared him (and didn't!) to run a business filled with unpredictability and opportunity. Listening to his story, we couldn't help but admire his truthfulness, enjoy his sense of humor and be motivated by his enthusiasm for marketing.

The native Long Islander's career began as an Account Executive at an ad agency for the TNT Cable Network, which aligned well with his "dream job" of making movie posters! Here, he learned that building relationships directly with the talent resulted in getting the benefit of a deeper level of cooperation from the talent and they also gave their best work to Scot. Another key learning for Scot was how to work harder (and smarter) to become an even better writer.

Once ready to launch to the client side, Scot made a big "leap" by joining TNT Entertainment. This expanded his horizon by combining his well-established passion for making movie posters with his media agency experience and passion for the consumer packaged goods industry. Another lesson? Absolutely. With any position, each person can hone their skills and continually strive to be even better.

Teresa and I left the luncheon feeling energized and motivated, thinking about what could be our next "leap." While Scot's examples related to individual companies and positions, we challenged ourselves even more to identify specific "leaps" that we could take in our day-to-day push to go outside of our comfort zone. And, best of all, wondered how we could encourage our clients to move beyond their comfort zone with their loyalty or customer marketing initiatives.

Our takeaway from Scot:

Strive to be better. Watch for "leap" moments. Take that "leap."

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