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Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

Currently, I am a Vice President in the music publishing industry. I have been in the music business for 24 years. I am also the President and Founder of Lisa's Living Room, an organization for professional women of color. LLR hosts a number of virtual events open to everyone. Topics have included DE&I in the workplace, will workshop, town hall about race relations, and even a virtual wine tasting. I am currently focused on expanding LLR by increasing its exposure and potential members/speakers. I am also focused on working with a non-profit to increase college preparedness for college bound students of color. My ultimate goal is to join a Board of Directors for a non-profit .

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I am a member of Ellevate Network because I would like to widen my network with like minded women. However, also with women with different professional and personal experiences.

How would you define your professional mission?

My professional mission is to be accepted in the workplace and not just tolerated. I have been working for over 2 decades and have finally found a company with a positive and encouraging work culture. I am working internally (involvement with company's ERG) to ensure that culture is continually improving.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

In my line of work, someone needs to possess analytical and critical thinking skills. These is also a need for patience along with the ability to effectively communicate both verbally and written. It is also very important to continue educating yourself about the continuing changes in the industry.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

My most memorable career accomplishment is creating the first ever income tracking team at The Harry Fox Agency. I was assigned the task by the then CEO who saw something in me that I did not yet see in myself. That moment has always stuck with me and one I usually refer to when I need to remind myself that I can do this.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

My industry is one that is known for change. That includes the constant buying and acquring of other companies. This leads to job insecurity which at this stage in my career, I am not fond of. I wish the industry was more stable.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

During my time at HFA, I worked with the IT Dept to create a tool which would automatically generate reporting needed to effectively perform the job of my team. This was one of the first tools of its kind and aided in the successful collection of millions of royalties due to clients.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

My first job in television after college led me to where I am today. This job although in my intended major, was a sobering look at what I did not want in a career - very long hours, toxic work environment, etc. So when a career in music publishing presented itself, I took it. My next job paved the way for where I am today including my professional expertise and a litany of colleagues some of which have become long lasting friends.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is ensuring the proper payment of royalties for our clients. These payments could be someone's light bill, mortgage, etc. So it is very important that they are properly compensated for their creative work - their songs!

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

I hope to leave a legacy less about my work and more about how I performed my work and carried myself - professionally, ethically, with humor and humility.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

I am not sure about the right fit. I like my job but more importantly I like the workplace culture. After experiencing a very toxic work environment (but liking the work), I am very mindful to not go through that again. My workplace is the right for me.

Who are your role models?

My role models are are my parents and my siblings starting with my Mother who although is not college educated is the most intelligent woman I know. She overcame childhood trauma to raise a family of successful and responsible adults. My Father is whom I get my philanthropic spirit as he was instrumental in the building of a Boys and Girls Club in Lynchburg, VA. My sisters are both accomplished attorneys and my brother a retired FDNY Captain. My family raised me to not only get a seat at the table but own the table!

What is your morning ritual?

My morning ritual is to wake up to the sounds of meditation music on my Alexa, take a warm shower, pray, feed Titan - my 120 lb American bulldog and then have a cup of coffee before finally beginning my day.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

LinkedIn. I pride myself on having more quality LI connections than FB "friends." LinkedIn not only provides the ability to network but I enjoy reading the numerous articles from companies I follow. It is also a good resource to learn about others in your industry and any other area of interest. I've been able to reconnect with people from my alma mater and it's been inspiring especially during COVID.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

My personal superpower is my loyalty. I say that because whatever and whomever I deem important, I am loyal to. That involves my family, my friends, my workplace, my Sorority and Lisa's Living Room.

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is raising my teens to become responsible, compassionate and independent adults. Success is not material to me. It's not about what you make but how you make people feel.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

Occasionally; However, during COVID, I've begun scheduling an hour Mental Health Break. During that time, I go for a walk, sit outside, even watch some senseless tv, etc. Anything that allows my mind and soul to reset.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

I would advise future leading ladies wishing to break into my industry to learn how to network and also be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. Women tend to get in their own way with the self fulfilling prophecy about what they cannot do. We need to stop this especially when breaking into any industry. Continually work on your professional development. Get a mentor, Identify and work on your needed areas of improvement. Never stop learning or being a better you!

What is the best career advice you ever received?

The best career advice I received was "closed mouths don't get fed," meaning you should speak up at the proper time and place. Women tend to be tight lipped. I pride myself on speaking my mind, in a professional and thoughtful manner. I never want anyone to say they didn't know because I did not tell them.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Keep your family first! During COVID, I have saved 3 hours because of no commute. This has allowed me to have dinner with my teens, one of which is college bound. It has also allowed my husband and I to reconnect. I realize that my professional success is nothing without the support and love of my family. With that said, I also highly suggest working moms ask for help. Do not try to do it all. Take a break! Breathe! Yoga! Therapy! Make time for you, MOM!

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.