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10 Questions with Kerry Ghize – Market Region Lead, EMEA

20 October, 2015

Donavan Thomas

Marketing / CEBer since 2012

In this series, you will learn more about the people behind CEB. Meet Kerry Ghize, who oversees CEB’s commercial staff for the EMEA market and also serves as the London office lead. Kerry originally offered her advice and perspective to the Women at CEB group, a global network of women and men who care about equality of opportunity and helping women to unlock their potential.


CEB Kerry Ghize

Q: Which CEB project makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
A: There’s more than one—supporting plans for healthy growth in EMEA’s various market regions, as well as thinking through CEB’s profile in the market and which skills are needed in order to be differentiated and impactful to our customers and potential customers.

Q: What was your biggest professional setback and how did you overcome it?
A: The financial crisis of 2008 triggered a particularly difficult period in the business. We needed to operate in new ways to be useful to our members’ and prospects’ changing needs. I had to learn to move more quickly, re-think the coaching that teams needed, and make more than incremental resource decisions. It was all new and I learned, through that time, how to ask for more help and how to seek advice from a broader set of sources.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring leaders?
A: Be open to advice, to options, and to challenges. And play the long game. Also, you can watch this TED talk when in need of some inspiration.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
A: I would tell myself to be bolder in putting forth ideas that I believed were possible. Provided I was thoughtful, well-prepared, considered options and risks in a reasonable way, and open to other points of view, there’s no reason to hold back on at least starting a dialogue. People aren’t mind-readers; what’s the use of an idea if it stays permanently contained in one’s thoughts? Tweet this thought!

Q: What’s your favorite book and why?
A: It’s actually a play called Our Town by Thornton Wilder. I first read it in 1991 and haven’t forgotten its portrayal of everyday life in a small town. Amongst all the seemingly mundane activities that go on in each of the play’s scenes, the reader gets a reminder of what’s deeply special in even the most average day. My favorite line is a question posed by the main character, Emily, as she looks back on her life and asks, “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”

Q: What do you like doing in your free time?
A: Travel, reading novels (and The Economist on the Tube), yoga, and hosting friends and family for Sunday lunch at our house.

Q: What is one destination everyone should add to his or her travel bucket list?
A: Sri Lanka

Q: Which female role model do you admire and why?
A: Malala Yousafzai for her intelligence, resilience, and bravery—all on behalf of children’s right to education.

Q: What are some changes for women you hope to see in future generations? 
A: Literacy—free, equal, and open access to books from a young age. I hope that education can be an unalienable right for everyone.

Q: What is your favorite “life hack” in balancing your personal or professional life?
A: Sometimes, when things get extra busy or I have missed a yoga class after work more than I’d like, I combine exercise with my commute. I walk part of my route home (and enjoy Green Park and Hyde Park in London) and pick up the Tube  further away from the office.

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