I have been telling stories and leading teams at CNN Digital for more than a decade. I began my career as an associate producer coding interactive feature projects in Adobe Flash. As an entertainment reporter I walked the red carpet at the 2009 Oscars and attended Michael Jackson’s funeral. I was a Health writer and producer for several years, and led the team’s digital coverage through the Ebola crisis. I joined the video team in 2014 with little experience in video; I am now an executive producer overseeing more than 50 amazing journalists based in six bureaus across the country.

This industry is always changing, and change isn’t always easy. I move forward by remembering two things:

Good journalism is good business.

Tell the audience something they don’t know. Anger or delight them. Be curious, always. These simple tenets of storytelling should be at the basis of everything we do.

Lead with radical honesty and kindness.

I believe both are essential to a productive and engaged team. If we are brutally honest with ourselves, and our colleagues, about our work, we can improve. If we approach those honest conversations with kindness, we can remain whole. The two are not mutually exclusive.

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.”

E. B. White

Email me at Jacque.Smith@cnn.com

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