Meet Tina Kozak
Tina is the president of Detroit -based, Franco, a core service firm focusing on public relations, marketing, social media, advertising, creative, analytics/reporting and crisis management. Besides running the firm, Tina oversees client service, talent retention and business development, as well as advices clients in the auto/tech, health care and professional service industries and in areas including corporate positioning, community relations and reputation management. She also consults on brand development, crisis communications and strategic planning.
We had an opportunity to meet with Tina and talk to her on her views of leadership.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means being humble, open-minded and willing to listen, yet asserting intent and conviction for the greater good. A leader’s role is to inspire and empower others. A good leader is a role model for professional and personal growth.
Who has influenced your idea of leadership?
My business partner and mentor, Dan Ponder, has inspired my idea of leadership. His unassuming nature, opposite from my own, has helped me see how different styles of leadership are appropriate for different situations and scenarios. I am a voracious reader of leadership content. I love Brene Brown’s ideas about vulnerability and leadership, and I try to practice Simon Sinek’s “golden circle” concept – always knowing the “why” before landing on the “how” or the “what” of any project. I admire former Rep. John Dingell and Oprah as leaders, too. I’ve always been inspired by successful women in business who are balancing motherhood, especially Marissa Mayer and a countless number of my friends, colleagues and peers.
Why do we need more women in leadership roles? What do they add to the table?
I believe we need more diversity, in general, in leadership roles. Diversity of gender, race, beliefs, values and experiences. Diverse backgrounds bring diverse ideas to the table. This opens the door for discussion, and empathy emerges when people can listen and relate to someone different from themselves, before passing judgement. This is when real change can happen.
How are you leading in your career/community?
In my role at Franco, I am doing my best to inspire values I think are important for success in business and in life. Values like empathy, family and community – which aren’t always emphasized in business – are important in helping people understand each other better, which I believe ultimately leads to success. Teams who share these values perform well and do good in the world.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I think it’s important to lead by example, both at home with my own young daughters, and in the workplace. I don’t ask a teammate to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. I believe in empowering people and creating opportunities for hard-working individuals to lean in and open their own doors. It’s rewarding, as a leader, to see people rise to the occasion and grow in their own performance and leadership.