HGTV Co-founder and MSU Alumni Susan Packard Redefines the Meaning of Being ‘Fully Human’

HGTV Co-founder and MSU Alumni Susan Packard Redefines the Meaning of Being "Fully Human"

Susan Packard, Co-founder of HGTV, Conceptualizes the Art of "Rewirement" and Learning to Find the Little Joys in Creative Work.

Co-founder of HGTV Susan Packard gave audiences a glimpse of what moves she made to become successful in her career, when she returned to her alma mater as MSU Homecoming Grand Marshal.

Packard, who is an alumna of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, headlined an event in WKAR Studios on Sept. 26, speaking to faculty, students and the public. She embodied the 2019 Homecoming theme, Spartans Inspire Success.

Finding Purpose in Creative Work

She graduated from Michigan State University in 1979 with her masters degree after finishing her undergraduate degree in advertising from MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Throughout her career, she has made waves in the cable programming television business, and she is most well-known for her integral part as co-founder of HGTV and Scripps Networks.

During the public event, An Evening With Susan Packard, Packard discussed her new book, "Fully Human: 3 Steps to Grow Your Emotional Fitness for Work, Leadership and Life" and participated in a Q & A.

In WKAR Studios, Packard sat down with WKAR General Manager and Director of Broadcasting Susi Elkins for a conversation about her life and work. Packard spoke on the importance of emotional intelligence and its effects on personal success in the workplace.

"We need to have meaning with our work, to find purpose in your work, because those things feel great because they are durable." Packard explained that the president of Unilever said one of the most enthralling quotes to live by, "lead to profit and purpose" which showed how when you care about your employees it affects your bottom line.

The Art of Rewirement

As part of her talk, Packard shared her conception of the idea of "Rewirement", a different way of life focused on working for yourself. For her "Rewirement," Packard plans on writing new work - whether or not it gets published, facilitating retreats, and helping to build women's networks. She also aims to help organizations better understand substance abuse disorder, as well as how to be supportive for those going through it.

When asked what kind of tools the book can offer to readers, Packard spoke on a few.

"For example, these are simple: learning to pause we're always moving so quickly, especially in organizations that move fast, but when you pause, take a breath," said Packard. "When you do that, you can actually listen to what someone is asking you. And it's a discipline to learn to pause, but when you do that, it's amazing how much more you can hear and absorb."

"If you're really listening before you speak, you're going to add a whole lot more value," said Packard. "It's also more thoughtful."

Packard challenged attendees to take steps to better understand life around them.

"Pause. Be present. Be in the moment."

During a moment in her live interview, Packard was moved to tears sharing a compelling story about her father. Elkins touched on the subject of vulnerability and its rarity amongst CEOs and executives.

By Alex Perkins and Brooke Fredrickson