Beyond High Street

Julie Felss Masino: North American President, Taco Bell

May 2, 2018

The curiousity to explore and thrist to learn are two qualities that define Julie Felss Masino. She works tirelessly to build culture, innovate for the future, and lead by example. And now, as North American President of Taco Bell, she is doing it for the world to see. Her career has inscluded incredible brand work at Coach, Godiva, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Fisher Price and 10+ years at Starbucks. Her experience in the restaurant and retail world is unmatched. I think you’ll appreciate her honesty of what her daily schedule is like and what it takes to bring companies to the top.


Show Notes:

“Companies who sit still find themselves behind”

 “Always solve consumer needs before the consumer knows they need it”

 Day in the Life of a North American President.

  • Get to the office early: it’s imperative to have time before everyone comes into the office.
  • Being a leader means being ready for the day and to know what’s coming. You want to show up well, be prepared for every meeting, and to know if you should have an opinion about a matter.
  • Give yourself an hour where you don’t have to think. It’s super important to let the mind be free before going to bed, so you can fully show up to work.

Sometimes You Work Weekends.

  • Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, led by example to always be on and to always be working.
  • It’s necessary to unplug on the weekends and try activities such as pilates, yoga, or hiking.

Lead by Example.

  • Don’t take the responsibility of being a leader lightly.
  • Believe in teamwork, positivity, optimism and to bring everything to your role.
  • Ultimate questions of being a leader:
    • How do you inspire and put the right people in the right roles?
    • How do you give your team the tools to be the best?
    • How do you challenge them to be the best?
      • All of these leadership questions stem from holding the bar high for yourself. Never ask anyone to do something if you wouldn’t do it.

Always Be Curious.

  • Read a lot and ask a lot of questions.
  • It’s important to be very confident and to not be afraid to ask for help or admitting you need help.

Help Others Along the Way.

  • Look around you at Miami University or in your career and make friends.
  • Share knowledge and help your peer group. It’s beneficial to help others along the way and to nurture these relationships now.

Say Yes.

  • Say yes to new opportunities and try new things whether it’s in a role or location
  • If you want a bigger role in leadership, it’s important to understand the bigger picture of business and to take roles even if it’s not in your specialty. It makes you a better and more well-rounded leader.
  • Not only this, it makes you a better human and widens your lens to understand there’s not one way to do things.
  • Make sure you have a network you have the ability to say yes to new things. Sometimes you have to say no, ensure you’re saying “not now” to open more opportunities later in your career.

Innovation Is Important.

  • Work with brands you are passionate about and believe in.
  • Key reasons for coming to Taco Bell: being in a culture that reinvents the business playbook, they are passionate about their customers, and want to continue to be a part of their lives in fun ways.