Betsy Fischer is Executive Producer of Meet the Press—NBC's number-one-rated Sunday morning public affairs program and the longest running television program in the world. An award-winning journalist, she has produced interviews with U.S. presidents, key cabinet officials, heads of state and every 2004 and 2008 presidential candidate.
What traits make a good business leader? Any that didn't come naturally to you that you've grown into?
A key trait of an effective business leader is the ability to be comfortable and timely in decision-making. It is frustrating to follow a leader who isn't able to set agendas and a clear direction. I believe that confidence in decision-making and good judgment really comes from experience. In my case, I was lucky enough to start at Meet the Press as an intern 20 years ago—so I was able to "grow up" in these surroundings, learn some tough lessons along the way, and eventually discover how to trust my instincts and have the confidence to make important decisions.
I think the longer I am in corporate environment the more I value decision-making. Clarity is hard to come by. It's something I constantly strive for. It's so hard when there are so many voices in one creative field. Addressing business needs is what it comes down to, but it's knowing what is and is not "brand right". Where to push, where to let go. Picking battles. I constantly strive to stay somewhere long enough to have this kind of clarity. WIP.