Deutsch’s Val DiFebo on the Power of ‘Yes’


In perhaps one of the odder nods to marketing in entertainment, one line in the 1995 film Tommy Boy rings true. While talking to clients, Big Tom (played by the late Brian Dennehy) says, “Why say no when it feels so good to say yes?“

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That spirit of “yes” drives Deutsch New York CEO Val DiFebo, and is an essential mantra that she follows in her daily life. It’s so prominent that a large neon sign with the word greets people when they walk into her office.

Di Febo’s philosophy is the first of several lessons in nitronet’s first episode of “My Mantra,” a new video series asking marketing and advertising leaders about what motivates them.

In her mind, starting with a positive like this gives people “permission and the right and the power to do the things they want.” DiFebo, a longtime practitioner of positive leadership, believes this empowering approach lets people feel an investment in their futures.

More personally, for DiFebo, it’s not about doling out a “yes” without good reason. Sometimes, people may not be ready for the affirmative. But, in every case, she guides, teaches and encourages the agency’s talent to think the issue at hand through first.

Then, when the magic word is uttered, it becomes more powerful for everyone.

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