Kait Capone 21MBA thought she was a successful leader overseeing 12 cross-functional teams at the Whirlpool Corporation—until she attended Goizueta Business School’s One-Year MBA program.
I had great leaders and mentors at Whirlpool. I was leading teams but I thought of leadership in limited terms, bringing the best out in others. At Emory, I learned the importance of leading myself first, so I could be a more effective leader for others.Kait Capone 21MBA
Her revelation came in Lieutenant General, USA (Retired) Ken Keen’s class when he talked about having a purpose. Keen is the associate dean for leadership and senior lecturer of Organization & Management. In class, they studied leaders who used values as a guide to drive their actions and decisions. Capone reflects, “I didn’t have that. I spent the spring semester observing myself and unearthing my driver. I wanted to define values that I could use as a filter for making decisions.”
She fondly recalls a moment early on in her journey. She was telling a mentor at Emory that during their hour-long session together she was hoping they could find her purpose. “He laughed and said it’s taken him 20 years! Here I was naively thinking I could have it easily figured out.”
Defining the Fellowship of Leadership
Since leaving Emory and embarking on her career, Kait’s perception of leadership continues to evolve. She recently has discovered the power of leading through influence. “In my last three jobs, I managed people. Currently, at SiriusXM I don’t have direct reports,” she says.
So much of the Emory curriculum prepared me to understand that leadership isn’t just managing the people below you. Today, I find I am tapping into the skills I learned at Emory to influence my leadership team. A salient lesson I took away from Emory was the importance of bringing people along for the journey and creating a shared vision of change to rally around. That’s what often drives fellowship in an organization.Kait Capone 21MBA
Currently, Capone is a senior brand manager at SiriusXM where she leads brand strategy, campaign development, and brand measurement.
Naturally, she has aspirations. “I’d love to be the chief marketing officer for a consumer-first organization,” she says. “I love marketing, it’s always changing, and it personally keeps me on my toes.”
Capone went to Emory for more exposure across business disciplines. “I wanted to round out my business acumen So often decisions get made that are right for one function and detrimental for another. I always knew I wanted to stay in marketing long-term, but I wanted to have a better understanding of both the positive impacts and the possible implications my work could have for cross-functions. I wanted to be more of an enterprise-wide leader rather than a functional leader.”
Her journey may have begun at Emory, but she is constantly looking to continue to grow. “Every day I find ways to show up as a leader, I meet people who inspire me through their actions, I am stimulated by books and podcasts that cause me to reflect, and I want to continue to grow and evolve and always be on a journey.”
Kait Capone 21MBA took part in a Fireside Chat as part of the Leadership Capstone Course Speaker Series led by Ken Keen. Watch the video here.
Learn more about the accelerated One-Year MBA program at Goizueta.