“Leadership is about maximizing humanity” — Amy Elkins
Amy and I met when she was leading the digital media planning and buying for Paramount Pictures and I was instantly taken with her. Amy is one of the most authentic, intentional and purposeful people I have ever met and I learned so much during our collaborations over the years. When I was thinking about all of the wisdom and advice that I want to share with my daughter, I called Amy to inspire us. Amy is not only the President of Media & Marketing Innovation at ErosSTX Entertainment but also that Founder of Power Collective, which was founded in LA as a love letter to the ambition of women and built to elevate established & emerging female professionals. I am truly grateful that Amy has remained a consistent part of my life for all of these years and I remain in awe of all of her accomplishments.
Amy Powell: Is there one piece of advice that you wish your 9 year old self would give you today that would make an impact on your career?
Amy Elkins: Develop a strong sense of self.
Rather than focus on where you belong or who likes you — turn the feeling into “who am I?” What makes me me? What characteristics are unique to me? What do I value? What drives me? What do I need to feel excited? What are my growth areas? When do I feel drained? How can this person earn my trust? Think about your relationships to all areas (wellness, connection, community, family, responsibility).
The more you are clear about yourself, the less we can drift towards the wrong influence and the more you live a thriving life. The more you hold clear boundaries and the more you attract what you want. The happier you are.
AP: Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? how did you bounce back?
AE: Mistakes are critical.
The more “safe” mistakes you make the more you will find you are capable and intentional the older you get. Mistakes are not just natural but critical in gaining competency. The key is having an emotional safe support network to bounce back. You first need to understand your action is not your being — those are two differences things. You made a mistake but you are not a mistake of a person. You then must assess impact and address with accountability to further prevent a shame cycle and you need to forgive yourself or others and reframe the experience as a lesson. All of this is easier said than done but in a flaw adverse society — those who will prevail in wholeness will be those who master the ability to make mistakes and move on with the lesson.
AP: How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
AE: I was fortunate to grow up with a father who was poor but had an “abundance mindset.” This means he did not worry about scarcity and he was confident that in intention the universe would provide all the is needed. This reduced my fear in decision making because it was drilled into me. The other important factor is that to embrace risk taking you must also be comfortable with the uncomfortable and you must be adaptable to change. Those you are not will choose safe lives regardless of ambition or passion.
There is a lot of value living a “middle path” life, meaning nothing is too extreme but life is also short and if there is something you believe with your whole heart and have done the backup to see validity of idea then it’s all of our missions to step into the bravery and vulnerability of risk.
AP: What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?
AE: Mine is pretty basic — it’s the “Golden Rule.”
Treat others as you would wish to be treated as well as be the living example of what you expect from others. The idea of reciprocity in leadership is not emphasized enough in work culture. This does not mean avoid hard conversations or conflict, it actually means to lean into transparency and problem solving. Leadership is about maximizing humanity to lead to business outcomes and so it starts at humanity.
AP: What is the most fun part of your job?
AE: The most fun part of my job is idea generating. I love to compile a list of planning parameters based on a business goal and then think about all the various ways to achieve and prove the impact of the idea. Ideas are magic. Idea generating in a group can be transformative. It’s fun and not emphasized enough as many peoples just have been siloed into specific tasks. I am a big strategic thinker and love the play and rigor of good ideas. Ideas are powerful and I like power.
About Amy Elkins
Always delivering a lot with a little, Amy Elkins brings a trailblazing vision of intentionality that redefine industry solutions. Elkins brings the advantage of the business landscape, working brand, agency and sales side — earning expertise in teams, strategy, data, marketing, media, operations, tech, measurement and entertainment. Elkins leverages a unique combination of thought leadership, people talent, bespoke data solutions and business development to secure value. Elkins thrives in unlocking the business evolution potential — prioritizing people, point of view & planned action.
Elkins’ dynamic business approach has earned her industry-wide recognition in Variety’s Marketing Impact Report, Variety’s Women of Entertainment as well as a 2018 recipient for her Visionary Digital Leadership awarded by Hollywood in Pixels. Elkins extends her principled leadership in her commitment to education and female advancement initiatives. In 2021, she founded Power Collective LA an information, inspiration networking event/movement which aims to elevate the conversation around and stimulate opportunity surrounding the massive loss of women’s labor force gains during the pandemic. She is an ongoing mentor in the 2018 The Hollywood Reporter — Women in Entertainment, Big Sisters Mentorship Program and is active in forwarding DE&I initiatives. Always committed to more humanity.