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Heather Conneely Is Fostering a Culture of Feedback at Meta

Heather Conneely Is Fostering a Culture of Feedback at Meta

Strong professional relationships helped Heather land and now thrive at Meta.

What is your background?

I was born and raised in Bolivia. I moved to the US to go to college at Notre Dame, where I met my husband. He’s from Panama, and we ended up staying in the US. We started our family and careers in Chicago and later moved to New York. I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for the past 20 years.

How did you come to work at Meta?

I’ve been at Meta for the past eight years. I landed at Meta thanks to my strong work relationships. I previously worked at Univision, and their previous head of sales joined Facebook as head of sales. He was building a team from scratch and asked if I’d want to join him at Facebook. I immediately said yes. I wouldn’t have gotten that first job at Facebook if it hadn’t been for my old boss.

What is your role today?

I’m a director in our advertising sales team with CPG, consumer packaged goods, specifically for beauty, personal care and homecare. I lead a high-performing team that consults with the largest organizations in those verticals. I also collaborate in Facebook’s monetization strategy within these verticals.

Because we’re in ad sales, as directors we need to understand  key product priorities Meta might have, while also being invested in our clients’ business. If there’s a product performing better in the beauty category, let’s say, we advise and consult with our product team to see what’s working. For example, “Reels within  beauty vertical  has been performing really well. If  we need more product development to accelerate that vertical, we can create a feedback loop. ,Working with our partners and improving our products and come up with solutions so those products can generate more revenue.

My ultimate dream is to help people advance in their careers and advise on products that my team can sell more effectively.I truly love my role and continuously feel challenged. I’m always learning and it’s been awesome.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I like to diversify and use a mix of strategic, transformational and democratic leadership styles. First, there’s the strategic component, which means I make decisions based on the goals of my vertical.

In terms of my democratic leadership style, I base my decisions a great deal upon the input I get from my team members. My team is in sales, so they’re out in the market. They’re having conversations with top executives from top companies, so it’s important for me to get their input because they have the ear of the actual clients. I’m very intentional about getting their perspectives.

In terms of transformational leadership, I push my team to think in new ways because that’s the only way we can evolve. Meta fosters this approach because there’s not really a hierarchy here. Even though we all have titles, it’s very much a flat organization, so it’s really important to get feedback from my team because I’m their voice and represent them as their manager and work hard to get their voices heard.

What is your philosophy when it comes to building personal and professional relationships?

My approach to building both is pretty much the same. I always try to be very respectful and build trust. I remember the Golden Rule and treat others as I would like to be treated. My friends and family would cite my number one trait as being loyal.

If you ask my team, they probably would say the one trait that defines me is that I foster a culture of helpfulness and feedback. I’m passionate about giving constructive feedback. If there’s something that might need improvement, I’ll call it out. Also, my rule is that if I’m willing to give feedback I also must be ready to take it. Fostering this culture of feedback is important to success. Clarity is kindness, and the more clarity that you can provide for your team and effectively communicate, the better they’ll perform.

You’ve been at Meta for almost a decade. What do you love about working at Meta?

First of all, it’s always been the people. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have always worked with some of the smartest people in the industry, and that’s no different at Meta. That’s a big reason why I enjoy working from the company’s New York City office. I live in Westchester, New York, and I love going into the city and the office and seeing my team whenever I want. Of course, I have the flexibility to work from home if I need it, but I love being able to interact directly with my team.

Secondly, the product. I believe our product is a product for good. Our technology enables people with the power to do more.

The last thing is the perks, and one of the major perks at Meta is autonomy. My bosses are not micromanagers. They give me the autonomy I need and that allows me, in turn, to be a better leader to my own team and give them autonomy.