Why Neisha Tweed Bell is a SHERO?
Neisha is an award-winning Creative Director, Copywriter, People Manager, and Diversity & Inclusion advocate. She is a SHERO because she is someone who truly embodies the true qualities of leader that ignite compassion, tenacity, grit, and empathy. Ever since leaving the Caribbean over 20 years ago, Neisha has become a force that shows women from all cultures that remarkable things can stem from humble beginnings and that can achieve the imaginable…if you just try.
Over the last few years, she has flourished in the Advertising and Creative space where she has created cutting edge campaigns and led robust teams for Publicis, Instagram, and Facebook. She has used her ability to promote change and to touch the lives of others to produce work that has been globally impactful and centered around building connections between people and brands through authentic storytelling, humility, and inclusion.
Neisha is a published author and has also won several awards that include the Essence #100WokeWomen, ADCOLOR Rising Star, and Cannes Young Lion Shortlist. On top of her accomplishments and having an incredibly busy schedule and being a huge proponent of change, Neisha volunteers and is a strong proponent of supporting Black women and Black owned businesses. She is a teacher, a mentor, and the mother of two amazing children.
How would you describe your leadership style?
It feels weird for me to describe my leadership style, but from what people have told me they appreciate about me as a leader, it’s that I’m authentic and empathetic. I share in the downs as well as the ups, I talk to people about their challenges and goals, and always try to help them rise above whatever reality is in front of us to achieve something they can feel proud about.
Describe a time when you went outside your comfort zone and what did you learn?
I spend most of my time outside of my comfort zone— that’s the best space to be creative and the best place for growth. I consistently put out projects and opportunities that will challenge me and teach me news things, which happens a lot working in tech and in a creative department – there’s always something innovating, evolving or in beta, so I’m always right there trying to keep up. The number one thing I’ve learned is that I don’t have to know everything, but I have to know who knows what I don’t know. I aim to always be curious and maintain a learning mentality, but, also, I have to be realistic that my brain can only hold so much information (especially being a mom of two!) so while I ask a lot of questions and read a bunch, I always always always prioritize surrounding myself with experts and people who have superpowers that are different to mine so we can build together.
What productivity hack would you recommend to others?
I get easily distracted by notifications (ok ok confession, I also often seek out these distractions when I am procrastinating) so to save myself from myself, I’ve turned off all the notifications on my emails, messenger and other desktop apps so I don’t get sounds or red flag saying “ooh look at me!” and on days I really need to focus, I block my calendar and put up an out of office on email saying I will not be replying until the following day so others know to give me some space.
What skill sets do you possess that have made you a better leader throughout your career?
The ability to step back and say, “this part sucks but here’s what we can gain from this.” I hate when leaders act like everything is awesome or that you have to keep your eyes on the prize above all else and ignore the reality of the challenges people are facing. I’m optimistic and solutions-oriented, but I draw the line at toxic positivity and make believe. My approach is to check in with folks and figure out solutions for whatever is giving them a hard time, but sometimes there are no solutions, and you have to say this sucks while also refocusing people on what really matters and what they’ll learn so they can stay motivated to keep going.
What advice would you give your younger self?
“I know you hate small talk, but get over yourself. Learn how to master the skill of asking questions and sharing things about yourself in a way that’s meaningful and that allows you to genuinely connect with someone. You can build anything when you have common ground.”