Ryan's partner at the helm of Gilt, chairman Susan Lyne, also has wisdom to share--about handling high-bar assignments with finesse. Lyne has worked for an unrivaled lineup of demanding bosses, rarely letting them see her sweat: She developed films for Jane Fonda, launched Premiere magazine for Rupert Murdoch, ran ABC Entertainment for Disney (DIS) under Michael Eisner, and headed Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO).
Is Lyne a masochist? When my colleague Jennifer Reingold asked her this question, Lyne laughed it off. Reingold, a Fortune senior editor, wrote a terrific profile, "The Many Lives of Susan Lyne", in last fall's Most Powerful Women issue. And as we writers typically do, she left choice material on the cutting room floor. So, here Reingold offers Lyne's tips on keeping your reputation and your cool, in any situation:
1) Always leave something on the table. "In negotiations, a total win is a Pyrrhic victory. You will meet these people again," Lyne says. She got this advice from Dick Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner (TWX) and ex-chairman of Citigroup (C): Be sure to give something away so that everyone can leave with pride.
2) Make time for the small favor. "It may seem like a waste of your time to take five minutes out of your day to listen to someone's career woes or make a call on behalf of a colleague's nephew," says Lyne. "It's about little things. People will remember."
3) Focus on the here and now. "Long-term vision is overrated. My first season at ABC, I thought I had to fix the whole schedule," she recalls. "Figure out two or three things that need to get done. There are only a few things you can do well at any given moment."
4) Share constructive criticism. In 2006, Lyne's husband, George Crile III, passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer. This experience of losing her spouse made Lyne realize the value of communicating candidly with her employees and mentees sooner rather than later. "I have learned that you need to help people now," she says.
Of all the super-achieving women we saw at this past week's Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit—CEOs like DuPont's (DD) Ellen Kullman and Hewlett Packard's (HPQ) Meg Whitman, Billie Jean King, and Rosie O'Donnell—Susan Lyne, the chairman of online retailer Gilt Groupe, has crafted one of the most interesting careers of all.
"I always go toward the heat," Lyne said onstage here at the Summit, explaining why she long ago created Premiere magazine MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 7, 2011 11:15 AM ET
By Patricia Sellers
Building a startup can be a 24/7 assignment. Building a high-flying startup can be, well, more consuming than that.
Which is why Susan Lyne, the CEO of fast-growing online retailer Gilt Groupe, is switching jobs with Chairman Kevin Ryan.
Gilt announced the new set-up yesterday, and by the time Lyne called me at 6 p.m. to explain, she had finished a full day in her new role. "We were talking MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 28, 2010 2:30 PM ET
Gilt Groupe CEO Susan Lyne has joined the board of AOL--soon to be spun off from Time Warner (TWX).
Does Lyne love trouble, or what? Five years ago, after Martha Stewart began her five-month prison stint in West Virginia, Lyne stepped up from the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) board to be CEO of the company--and worked, eventually hand in hand with Martha, to rebuild the crippled company.
That was a slog MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 6, 2009 11:32 AM ET
by Jessica Shambora
Who's hiring? Hardly anybody, yet. But as you dream about recovery, you'd better be thinking about how to upgrade your talent. You'll be hiring again someday. Really.
We talked about hiring at the recent Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, where this year's theme was "Betting on the Future." A session called "Building a Standout Start-up" was led by two CEOs who are in major hiring mode. We thought we'd MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Oct 7, 2009 1:55 AM ET
Shoppers may have fewer dollars these days, but they still want to make the most of them. That's the idea behind Gilt Groupe, the members-only shopping site featuring daily deals, or "flash-sales," on limited quantities of designer goods. (Click here for a post about Gilt CEO Susan Lyne, formerly head of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia).
Now Gilt is bringing the same formula to the luxury travel sphere with a new site MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Sep 30, 2009 4:19 PM ET
New York City is second fiddle to Silicon Valley when it comes to tech start-ups. But one intriguing new Internet company is about to launch here in Manhattan in two weeks.
Have you heard about Hunch? This morning at a Women in Media breakfast, I ran into Caterina Fake, the entrepreneur best known for co-founding Flickr and selling it to Yahoo (YHOO). Last time I saw her was at the home MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 2, 2009 3:05 PM ET
I've shared pictures and videos and stories of Warren Buffett in action at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit--his idea of "heaven," he told the 350 women who gathered in California in early October. But there was much ado beyond Buffett at our 10th Summit, which drew, despite the market mayhem, a lineup of leaders that reflected our theme, "Extraordinary Talent." Here are a few glimpses of the talent on MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 28, 2008 3:05 PM ET
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