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Building Engaged Connections with Carla

EVP, Energy BBDO, Omnicom DE&I Lead

Carla Eboli is an award-winning, multi-cultural, multilingual leader in the communications industry, with expertise in PR, advertising, multicultural marketing, D&I, journalism and business development in the US and Latin America.

Carla is a professional relationship builder who fosters success cultures that deliver the ultimate currency – Engaged Connections – to build brand loyalty, improve the bottom line and accelerate organizational growth beyond expectations.

Finish this sentence: I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for ________________.

My family’s support.

Resumes highlight professional and educational achievements. Which one of your life or personal experiences deserves to be on your resume?

It might sound crazy, but I’d like to include the story of two horrible and mean bosses. I believe people learn so much during crisis or adverse situations. These bosses, somehow, taught me how to navigate very difficult moments, the importance of mental health, and the damage that bad leadership can cause to a team. And you know the most interesting part of this story? Both were women! My theory is that they let their insecurities guide their behaviors and attitudes. Because of discrimination, women must work twice as hard to prove themselves and I guess they fell into the “trap” of being Ms. Perfect. They never showed their vulnerabilities. These experiences shaped my leadership style: I take mistakes as opportunities to learn. I’m ok with being vulnerable and I openly share my own struggles to build trust and inspire others.

What qualities do you look for when hiring someone on your team? What qualities do you avoid?

I like risk-takers who willing to make mistakes in the name of innovation, people that think “what if?” and come up with different solutions – disruptors. Regarding what to avoid: I believe leaders should build teams through complementary talent, individuals with different skills who, when working together exceed expectations. So depending on what problem I’m trying to solve, I’ll need to tap into people with different qualities. But one thing I must say, I always hire for attitude and train for skills.

Use different opinions and points of view to build bigger and broader ideas. It sounds simple, but the impact of it is tremendous.”

What’s one piece of career advice you wish you could give to your younger self?

It is ok to be vulnerable and it is ok to ask for help. I come from a generation of women that, as I said, were trained not to be vulnerable and to be self-sufficient. I believe that there is a place for being self-sufficient. For example, I believe women need to build their financial independence. But I learned that being vulnerable and not perfect is by far the biggest attribute of strong leaders.

Which books, podcasts, or new sources do you think everyone should read? Why?

I strongly encourage people to always watch and /or listen to both sides of the story. I’m in a business in which human understanding is key. Currently, I watch both FoxNews and CNN because I want to understand what different people are saying and thinking. I want to know where they come from. I’m extremely curious about people and behavior, so I’m always looking for the opposite opinion so I can grow intellectually.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is front and center right now. How do you express your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in your personal and professional life?

You must walk the talk, right? And this is where my personal and professional life becomes one. I’m committed to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, period. I’ve been involved in and serving on boards of directors for many entities as a volunteer, meaning no compensation (besides the emotional compensation). And the way I bring it to work is using recruiting to make the place where we work more diverse and more equitable. With training, open discussions, and town halls we also work to make it more inclusive. I also serve on some boards that are industry related such as ADCOLOR.

What’s one tangible step every employer should take to help build a more representative organization?

Always be open to the “different.” Be curious and try to learn from others, especially people that are different from you. Use different opinions and points of view to build bigger and broader ideas. It sounds simple, but the impact of it is tremendous.

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Carla Eboli
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