This interview with Val DiFebo, chief executive of Deutsch NY, the advertising agency, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. Were you in leadership roles when you were a kid?
A. Well, I have three sisters, and at the largest expanse we’re seven years apart. I was the oldest, and any time a decision had to be made, they looked to me.
And in high school?
I was elected to the student government, and I did it because I wanted to make things happen. I would listen to what people in my class wanted, and I would go to meetings with administrators and say, “The girls want a bus to go to the soccer match,” or whatever. In my senior year, I was elected school president, and it was based on my reputation of not being afraid to tell them what we needed or what we wanted. It was almost as if I was on a debate team. I’d say: “Here’s why we want to do it, here’s how you would do it, here’s how it would impact everyone. Why can’t we do it?” Sometimes they had to agree.
What about your parents’ influence?