Sarnoff had oversight of key revenue-generating operations, including ad sales and affiliate deals, for BBC America prior to its sale to AMC, and a wide range of content licensing for BBC products. So this former COO was ready to hit the ground running in August, when she took the reins from Herb Scannell. Focused on leveraging the BBC brand and its assets—including critical and ratings darling “Orphan Black”—Sarnoff is a respected industry executive who draws inspiration from new ideas and angles. “The best ideas often come from disrupting the norm and listening to new voices, both in and out of the office,” she says.
What’s the most important aspect of mentoring?
I’ve been fortunate to have had great mentors, both women and men, throughout my career. The most important aspect of mentoring is for your mentor to really understand who you are and what you’re capable of doing — so much of that is not on your resume or in your job description. The career growth that I’ve had has come from my bosses taking bets on me — having faith that I could take on a challenge or do a job that wasn’t previously on my resume. Knowing someone’s capabilities well is key to helping them grow.
What/who inspires you at work? What/who inspires you outside the office?
New ideas and ways of looking at things inspire me. I think we can easily fall into the trap of being comfortable with people who think like us. The best ideas often come from disrupting the norm and listening to new voices, both in and out of the office.
Best trick for maintaining the personal-professional life balance?
Love what you do! The rest will take care of itself.