Kate Tillotson | EVENING ANCHOR AT WWMT-TV (CBS) .

STORY 269 MAGAZINE

WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY?

The three P’s: passion, purpose, and people. You don’t inspire people with what you do, but why you do it. My role is to be the pacesetter. I lead by example and try to exemplify the work ethic that I expect in others.

 

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT YOU BELIEVE EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?

Humor. Many things can go wrong in life, and in the newsroom, you never know what’s going to happen. An effective leader should have a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves.

 

WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DO YOU MEASURE IT?

Success to most people is the accomplishment of one’s goals—that can be anything. For a news personality or a local news anchor, success means high ratings, story exclusives, and maybe an Emmy award, or two. That said, to me, it’s more important to have a healthy work-life balance. I ask myself often, “Am I happy? Am I making a difference in the world? Am I content in my relationships?” And if the answer to each of those questions is yes, then I have found success.

 

WHICH MENTOR HAS HAD THE MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON YOUR DEVELOPMENT?

Recently a friend of mine introduced me to the work of Mel Robbins. She is an author, motivational speaker, legal analyst, and a regular CNN commentator. Her book is called The Five Second Rule, and I am obsessed with the philosophy of it. In it, she said the moment you have an instinct to do something positive or to try something new, act on it. Don’t wait. She says that if you have the courage to start, you have the courage to succeed. The book taught me that when you are inspired to do something, but you feel intimidated, just count down from five and act on it. If you hesitate longer than that, your brain is going to hold you back.

 

WHICH DAILY ROUTINES HAVE HELPED YOU AS A LEADER?

For me, working and staying active go hand-in-hand. When I exercise and feel healthy, I’m more productive, I’m sharper, have better time management, and am a lot more pleasant to be around! It’s the athlete in me.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED IN LIFE?

The most important lesson I have learned is this: kindness matters. Mark Twain wrote, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Kindness is contagious; it can light up someone’s day. The best thing you can do for someone is show them some kindness.

 

WHAT EXCITES YOU THE MOST ABOUT THE FUTURE OF SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN?

I’m really excited about some of the aspirational projects that will come from The Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence, with its 70-million-dollar donation.

 

WHICH SONG WOULD BE YOUR THEME SONG?

This is a no-brainer for me. Don’t ask me who sings it, but I would take the “Cheers” theme song. As a recognizable face in West Michigan, and as a Massachusetts native, the line “Where everybody knows your name” just really hits home for me.

 

WHAT IS SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOURSELF THAT OTHER PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW?

When viewers meet me for the first time, the majority of the time they say, “You’re taller than I thought.” I’m 5’10,” and that’s something that surprises people because they usually only see me sitting down. It also surprises people that I am the all-time leading basketball scorer at Pioneer Valley Regional High School, where I scored 1,779 points.

 

WHICH UPCOMING SUMMER MOVIE ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE?

It seems like most of the movies coming out are big action movies, and that is not my style. Earlier this year, I was excited to see The Post with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.

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