Thursday, March 15, 2012

Media pioneer Moira Quinn shares her top tips for professional success

Moira Quinn, a force on Charlotte's media scene since her early 20s when she was a pioneer camerawoman for WBTV, was the speaker at a recent meeting of the Charlotte chapter of Femfessionals, a national networking group for professional women.

Quinn shot to national fame when she landed one of the primo jobs of her era: co-host of the nationally syndicated TV show PM Magazine with Bob Lacey. I didn’t know until her Femfessionals talk that she auditioned for that job on a fluke. Even though she didn’t have any on-air experience, she beat out hundreds of other hopefuls, including a former Miss America. The producers knew what they were doing because the show was a hit.

Today, Quinn is still winning fans as vice president of communications for Charlotte City Partners where her work ethic, upbeat personality, quick wit and non-nonsense attitude adds even more shine to her sterling reputation as one of Charlotte's top business people.

She gave out so much great advice that night that I asked her to boil down her top tips. Although her talk was geared toward women, the advice she shares here is universal and will work for anyone in any career.

Moira's Top 5 Tips for Professional Success

1. Always raise your hand first to try something new. Being unwilling to do that is saying “no” to yourself. What the heck? Try. Always try. You just might succeed. But always have a plan “B”.

2. In a tough situation, there will always be people who will help you. Ask them for help and ignore the rest. Then work your butt off to listen, learn and be the best you can be.

3. Your word is your bond. Never, ever lie. Trust is earned and your most valuable possession.

4. Help others and pay it forward. Be a volunteer. That is how you feed your soul and build community.

5. Favorite quotes will motivate you. Here are a few that are meaningful to me:

"When were the good and the brave ever in a majority?” - Henry David Thoreau.

“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized “I” was somebody.” - Lily Tomlin.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Ghandi

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work…but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery (It’s all about vision, not tactics)

The next Femfessionals meeting is March 28 at the Duke Mansion with speaker Kathryn Heath who’ll talk about her book “Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women’s Paths to Power.” Register at

Come prepared with plenty of your business cards and be ready to share what the group calls its “Femfessionals 30-second pitch” where you stand up and give your name, profession, the company you work for, a personal tidbit about yourself and your passion followed by an endorsement/testimonial of another Femfessional.