Re-Imagineer: Stephen Barr

You are the perfect Re-Imagineer in that you are a Lifelong Learner, one of our core beliefs.  You have two Masters degrees (including an M.B.A. from MIT) and you just finished a Juris Master at Cornell Law School!  Tell us about that most recent experience. Why did you decide to take on this new learning in the second half of life and what will you do with it?

Post receiving my MBA from MIT Sloan, I wanted to continue my educational journey and pursue my Juris Master degree at Cornell Law School to further hone my business and leadership acumen. The Cornell Law master’s program is designed for business executives who want to study the full extent of the law to apply to everyday corporate challenges. With the media landscape pivoting from traditional models to more innovative platforms, having the business and legal tools to navigate the growing technological advancements and ethical pitfalls that come with those very advancements, required furthering my education. My goal, as a lifelong learner, is to never remain complacent or comfortable in industry tenure alone. As an innovative sales leader, I have to be less reliant on what I know and continue to evolve into what I can do better.

Our readers should know that you also have a big-time day job as Senior Vice-President, Revenue for CBS News and Stations. How did you manage to add the “layer” of going back to school while you were handling the demands of this role?

In my current role, I oversee the executives that manage business development, strategic partnerships, group sales, audience performance, paid programming and integrated marketing solutions. At CBS News and Stations, part of Paramount Global, I am extremely blessed and fortunate to have a senior executive leadership team who have made, and continue, to make the investment in my personal and professional growth. My President, Sales, my Co-Head Division leadership, my President and CEO, CBS News and Stations are seasoned veterans who are dedicated to developing their teams to maximize performance. I managed, but most importantly, I continue to thrive because I am given the safe space to do so.

What advice would you give people who say that they don’t have the time to learn something new because they are busy at work or with other responsibilities? What wisdom would you share for those who want to be inspired by your quest for lifelong learning?

The demands of my role require skill, aptitude and support to achieve. As with my MBA, I leveraged my legal education to add a new layer of knowledge in how I manage my direct reports and the teams under them. I managed a full-time job while attaining my first master’s degree, my MBA and recently completing Law School. The only wisdom I would share would be, “learning, at any level, is a well accrued dividend that will continue to build annuity both personally and professionally.”

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