Ken Rona on How Aspirations Change as Responsibilities Grow

In Chapter 11 of 15 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, digital media executive Ken Rona answers "How Are Your Aspirations Changing as Your Responsibilities Grow?"  Professionally, Rona points to how he has established trust with his colleagues and bosses to make decisions and solve problems.  This leads Rona to think about ways he could handle larger senior management responsibilities.  However, personally, Rona sees his aspiration as staying in Atlanta and making sure his wife and children are stabled and grounded. 

Ken Rona is a Vice President at Turner Broadcasting, where he leads teams across advertising sales, big data software development and business strategy.  Rona earned a BA and MA in Political Science from Stony Brook University and a PhD in Behavioral Economics from Duke University. 


Erik Michielsen: How are your aspirations changing as your responsibilities grow?

Ken Rona: One of the things that I think I’ve shown is that I can be trusted. I can be trusted with staff. I can be trusted with decisions. I can be trusted with problems. As I’ve kind of proven that trust, I start to say, “well, you know what? Maybe I could be the CEO or COO of a company. Maybe not something the size of Turner, but certainly in the analytic space, I’m probably—“ So I kind of see that vision and I think that’s not something that I saw 3, 4, 5 years ago. But I think that I—I think that I could be a pretty effective, you know, senior C level person at a company that does what I do. That’s not to say a media company. I wouldn’t -- I’m wholly unqualified for that. But you know—or to be like the head of global analytics for something. Like I think that’s—I think that’s where I’m headed and I didn’t see—I didn’t really see that vision 5 years ago certainly. But now I think professionally I do. 

I think the question is, is that gonna be good for my wife and the family? I think that those kinds of jobs might be—Like I would be very interested in it but I’m certainly not interested in it enough to put my family at risk, you know? Or you know, and the family the—or should I say, I’m not interested enough to put the family dynamic at risk. It was quite difficult to get everyone to Atlanta and to a happy place; hopefully we’re there. The thought of trading—to uprooting people for any job right now I can’t really get my head around. So actually part of the aspirations, you know, when you talk about aspirations, I took it as professional aspiration, but I can tell you I have a personal aspiration to stay in Atlanta. 

I really—I do not think—and that my aspirations have really changed. I mean I—before I thought about moving I’d be perfectly happy myself to be move every 5 years. I think with the family, and the relative, the relative success that I’m enjoying I don’t--really don’t wanna move. I really want everyone to be stable and for my, you know, for my wife to be grounded in Atlanta