To be Nice or Not to be Nice?

11.24.14 power 11.24.14 kerrOver the weekend I read an interview on Forbes with the founders of Clique Media (the media group that founded Who What Wear, among other brands), Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr. Since they launched the online magazine eight years ago, the duo has expanded to Byrdie (beauty) and Domaine (home), as well has manage integrated and native advertising for a slew of fashion brands and blogs. All the while, WWW has continued to keep its finger on the pulse of fashion with a uniquely celebrity-driven lens.

I’m always interested to hear how young women define success for themselves and how they approach business. From this interview it was apparent to me that Kerr and Power come at professionalism from two different angles. When asked, what is the best advice you’ve ever received? Kerr responded:

Treat everyone professionally and with respect—even when they’re not affording you the same courtesy—because the industry is small and people’s memories are long.

Power, on the other hand, had an answer to one question that stuck with me. When asked what her pet peeve was, she responded:

Overfamiliarity and inefficiency

I wish the reporter probed on what she meant by overfamiliarity. In business? In personal life? I could only interpret it to mean that because of their celebrity status in the internet world, a lot of people feel like they know Power, and don’t give her the deference she feels she should receive.

When put next to Kerr’s more playful and jovial responses, Power appears to be the colder, less approachable half of the team. So then, in business, does it pay to be nice or to be a little chilly? As a young woman who is the boss, should you be a accessible and friendly or aloof? For this team, representing both approaches seems to be the winning combination.

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