Simmons Leadership Blog

Our interview with Judy Smith on the lessons learned throughout her career

Crisis management expert Judy Smith is the real-life inspiration for the Olivia Pope character on the television show Scandal. A former deputy White House press secretary and assistant US Attorney, Judy Smith brings years of public relations and communications experience to her corporate and private crisis management clients. 

Here she shares with us how she has managed her career. We look forward to her morning signature session with moderator Cheryl Howard on Women in Corporations.

Do you have a favorite quote?
I can't say that I have one favorite quote, but I do like these two by President Teddy Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."
What do you like most about your job?
For over 20 years I have been privileged to work with Fortune 500 corporations, leading politicians as well as celebrities on developing strategies to help them navigate crises both big and small and what I like best about this job is it gives me an opportunity to help people.
What is the best piece of career advice you've gotten along the way?
It is about the work. If you work hard the rest will take care of itself.
How do you think woman can support other women on their path to success?
There is a lot that we can do to support one another and the first thing we can do is simply show up for another! Also I think it helps tremendously to share not only our successes but also our failures with one another in order for us to grow and truly learn from one another.

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