Exeleon Magazine

Interview with CEO of Austin Communications – Camille Trott

Camille Trott_Exeleon Magazine_Austin Communications

What according to you makes for an inspiring leader? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

An inspiring leader can be defined in a multitude of ways. Much of leadership involves positively influencing those you serve. I would be inclined to say that inspiring leaders find ways to build others and magnify their strengths. My friend and mentor, John C. Maxwell is the world’s leading leadership expert. He imparts that GOOD leaders inspire their followers to have confidence in them. However, GREAT leaders inspire their followers to have confidence in themselves.

What prompted the inception of Austin Communications? What makes the company stand out from the crowd?

I founded Austin Communications, LLC in 2016. After years of managing executive communications and events for the co-founder of the world’s largest home improvement retailer and well-known businessman and philanthropist, I set out to work with aspiring business, civic and philanthropic leaders and businesses. One of our company’s core values was giving back, and I carry it with me to this day as a leader. I believed that I could provide insight and strategy to up-and-coming leaders with the same grit as I did for one of the nation’s successful businessmen. The diverse businesses provided me with a firsthand experience that many individuals have not accessed. I want to inspire others to dream and believe they can achieve such success with a clear vision, strategic approach, and purpose. This two-decade journey inspired my commitment to provide mentorship, coaching, and consultative guidance to growing companies and entrepreneurs through Austin Communications.

Being the President and CEO, what role do you play in the day-to-day proceedings of the company?

The day-to-day operations vary daily. As a small business owner, I am tasked with oversight of all business operations and ensuring the company can deliver and exceed our clients’ expectations. We are a thriving leadership development and management consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. As a certified international speaker, coach, and corporate facilitator, I enjoy working directly with clients, key stakeholders, and their associates. In addition, we offer consultancy and business development services for professional athletes, small and large businesses, and nonprofits.

What has the journey been like for Camille Trott over the years? 

As I reflect on the years of my professional life, I’m grateful for the many opportunities and learning experiences that I’ve encountered. From a young age, I’ve gleaned from mentors, and I was inspired heavily by my entrepreneurial grandparents, whom I named the company in honor. There have been achievements, as well as moments of running into brick walls. However, I embrace the failures and use them as learning experiences. There’s a children’s book that I love entitled, Sometimes You Win and Sometimes You Learn. Either way, I embrace the journey and hope that young leaders can gain insight from my experiences.

Looking back, what would you have done different when starting out?

Overall, I’m happy with the progress made thus far. In reflection, perhaps, I may have started the company earlier than I did. I believe the extra years allowed me to become better equipped as a leader. However, I’m pleased with the timing and results to date.

What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging business leaders?

It’s essential to build intentional relationships with those that will encourage and challenge you throughout your career journey and life. Identifying and establishing a relationship with a Coach, Mentor, and Sponsor are three actionable steps to support growth and transition. While they each serve a different purpose, they are all important components to your journey. As you move to the next level in your career or decision-making as a leader, it’s valuable to have others help as you move forward. 

What was the impact of COVID-19 on the company? What measures were taken to tackle the same? (if any)

The impact of COVID-19 directly impacted the workflow. I had several significant contracts taking place, and the timing could not be worse when Covid stepped in. Many organizations immediately went to a work from the home format, and business owners adjusted budgets due to the unknown. This forced the company to take an innovative approach to interact with clients, shift to virtual training, and learn to support the dynamics of the fear of the unknown everyone was facing. We embraced several new platforms that allowed the business to continue and added content to help companies lead through crisis and uncertain times.

What has been the biggest roadblock during your journey? What has been your biggest learning?

I’ve had to navigate running a business in a progressive city while living between two countries. This has certainly proved to be my biggest challenge. Austin Communications headquartered in Atlanta, GA (USA). Also, I live on a 21 square mile island in the north Atlantic – the Bermuda Islands. To remain relevant in a large city, you have to be intentional and active to maintain your network. It requires quite a bit of strategy and planning not to interrupt the business.

What is the future like for Austin Communications? On a personal front, where do you see yourself standing in the coming years?

We will continue to evaluate the impact that we provide our clients. With that said, our goal is to develop daily and support the development of our customers. I’ve also recently connected with the Global Chamber of Business Leaders and I plan to further connect with international heads to collaborate and work with business women and men around the world.

Finally, what do you think is the most important trait for a leader and why?

There are many qualities of a successful leader. Understanding that leadership is more than rank and position will provide the leader with a more significant opportunity to influence and impact their connections positively. As leaders, we should strive to grow daily and remember that it’s a journey and not a destination to a title. I frequently ask leaders two growth-oriented questions 1) What am I doing to grow myself? And 2) What am I doing to help grow others?

A famous John F. Kennedy quote reads, ‘Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other.” As leaders, we should embrace a highly disciplined growth regimen. There’s simply no substitute for continual learning for leaders.

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