Tami Honesty is the Vice President and General Manager for Radio One in Dallas. She’s also been chosen as one of Radio Ink’s Best Managers in 2017 and is featured in the current issue of Radio Ink Magazine. This 25-year veteran — 17 as a manager — has worked in programming, sales and marketing, and now management. She’s represented every level of radio from syndicated radio networks, major market clusters, medium markets, and national radio group properties. She’s incredibly driven and creates a collaborative environment where employees are engaged, happy, and focused on success.
Tami’s employees tell Radio Ink she goes above and beyond to formally and informally mentor employees. She believes in their growth and has created a culture of hard work, determination, support, and happiness. She is dedicated to her own success, as well as the success of her employees. Here’s our extended interview with one of Radio’s Best Managers, Radio One’s Tami Honesty.
Radio Ink: Who mentored you, and what did they do to help you succeed?
Tami Honesty: I cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of having solid mentors. I have had several key mentors that have assisted in my development. David Kantor, Chris Wegmann, and Gary Spurgeon have all served as strong, transparent, and highly influential mentors during my time with Radio One Dallas. David Kantor has had a major influence over growing my experience in the Vice President role. I am a highly conceptual and strategic thinker. He has taught me to always tie the concept or strategy back to the numbers. David has taught me how to be concise with delivering information and selling ideas all the way to the top. He is direct, transparent, and genuinely engaged in my growth. Chris Wegmann and Gary Spurgeon have been instrumental in my success, since day one, at Radio One Dallas. Chris was both my manager and formally assigned as my mentor through our Urban One Mentorship Program in 2014.
Radio Ink: What do you expect from the people you manage?
Tami Honesty: We have highly collaborative employees here at Radio One Dallas. I expect for employees to be engaged, offer ideas, being both connected and excited about the work we are doing. In addition to a highly engaged environment, I need leadership and initiative-drivers to help pull our team from concept through execution. We constantly have a high level of activity and that initiative many times comes from beyond just our department heads. We believe in teamwork but also creating a working environment that supports strong employee-manager relationship development. The traditional boss-subordinate relationship stifles employee development. Today’s workforce appreciates the value that each member brings to the team.
Radio Ink: When do you know you have a great employee who has the potential to become a manager?
Tami Honesty: When an employee has potential to become a manager, you see them firing on certain talents, competencies, and behaviors. Our management team looks for leadership, teamwork, and initiative — an individual that has mastered their job duties and takes on other responsibilities or helped us improve processes. We look for someone that colleagues, internal and external partners compliment on their high work quality and consistency. They have to be someone that most people enjoy working with from all levels of our organization. Volunteering to take on additional tasks is a great sign of a potential manager. Other signs of management potential are accountability and taking ownership of one’s work. Employees who approach every project with a winning attitude and an understanding that their work is a direct reflection of their own success are employees with management potential.
Radio Ink: Tell us what your biggest/most proud moment at the station or cluster was over the past 12 months.
Tami Honesty: We have a highly-talented team here in Dallas. My most proud moments come from times when I can reward those employees. Rewarding a team member for hard work, initiative, and excellence always equates to my most proud moments as a manager. We have several instances of that over the last 12 months. Rewards and recognition for an outstanding job often refers to the typical promotion or increase in compensation. Unfortunately, in today’s radio world, those cost-increasing actions are not always an option. In my opinion, it makes it more important that you understand what motivates each employee to go the extra mile. When compensation is not an option, look for other ways to let them know how much you appreciate their work. Development training or career growth programs could motivate employees who have potential management goals. Peer and public recognition from senior-level management could motivate other employees. Company perks, and even being invited to participate in a management project or a decision-making process, could be very rewarding for highly engaged employees.
Radio Ink: What does it take to be a strong and successful manager in radio today?
Tami Honesty: To become a strong and successful manager in radio requires a leadership versus a management mindset. Employees today are looking for a transparent, collaborative, and relationship-driven style of leadership. The boss-subordinate management style does not work with highly talented employees. Employees like to be included in the decision-making process, trusted to do their jobs and empowered. They are also looking for transparency and development opportunities. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Of course, the key to being successful in any role is surrounding yourself with amazing people that are passionate as you are.
Reach out to Tami Honesty to congratulate her on being one of Radio’s Best Managers at [email protected]