Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2013

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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We Mean Business > around the block. We debated that, and my perspective was that Kelly was incredibly talented. She had the enthusiasm, the drive, the personality, and great client relationships. I said, 'Tere's no reason to wait here. What she doesn't have in experience she makes up for in these other attributes.' And I was willing to use whatever political capital I had to see that she got the job. Every time another candidate was put up, I said, 'Terrifc, but I've worked with Kelly for three years, and I know what she can do. She's the right person for this job.' And I stayed with it." Tat fortitude paid of, with Watson ultimately being ofered the position. It was a job that even Watson herself—because she was so focused on her current job as a partner overseeing the frm's advisory oferings in New Jersey—hadn't really taken the time to consider. "To be honest, my frst reaction— which, of course, we counsel women not to have—was 'Really? Do you think I could do the job?'" she remembers. "And Tom said, 'Do you think I'd be asking you if I didn't think you could do the job?' And having given it all of 20 seconds of thought, I said, 'Yeah, I think I can do the job.'" Watson took over as the national fnancial crisis was reaching its peak in early 2009. Yet under her leadership, KPMG's impressed with her. But he had a bit of New Jersey practice has become one of persuading to do. the fastest-growing of the frm's 21 major "Te New Jersey practice is a very sig- markets. "She has prospered in her role," nifcant market for our frm," Dufy says. Dufy says. "She made this group in New "When you hand over the car keys to a Jersey a cohesive team, and they've been practice like this, you're very successful in the giving a great deal of marketplace. I look back Take the Lead responsibility to someon it and I know that body, and Kelly was young. So the initial [advocating for her] is one of the best pushback was, is it her time yet? Is she things I've done." ready? Kelly had lots of fans who were supportive of her, but there were a cou- The Power of Sponsorship ple people who thought we should have a Kelly Watson says that, in the years lead45- or 50-year-old person who had been ing up to her promotion, she learned The Sponsor Advantage Mentors and role models can help guide you. But to rise into the C-suite, you might need a sponsor. By Kimberly Olson s Kelly Watson went about her job at professional services giant KPMG, she had no inkling that, behind closed doors, senior leaders were debating whether she had the chops to take over as ofce managing partner of the company's New Jersey practice. As a rigorous discussion ensued, Watson was being championed by outgoing ofce managing partner Tom Dufy, who was departing to take a position in KPMG's metro New York market. Dufy had worked closely with Watson, and he was THINKSTOCKPHOTOS.COM A di v ers i tywoman.com Fal l 2 0 1 3 DI VE R SI T Y W O MAN 29

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