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RitaSue Siegel, RitaSue Siegel Resources

RitaSue Siegel
RitaSue Siegel

One book: "The Sea, The Sea" by Iris Murdoch, which reinforced one of my most important motivating beliefs: wanting to is not enough.
One newspaper: The Wall Street Journal, especially the Op Ed pages featuring a multitude of lucent minds ruminating on topics that interest me: the war in Iraq, U.S. politics, comparison of U.S. and E.U. economics and culture, issues in Brazil and Argentina, the rise of anti-Semitism, and more.
One Web site: Google. I'd be lost without it.
One gadget: A very sharp Chinese cleaver. I learned how to use it as my "for everything" knife in a Chinese cooking class more than 25 years ago and I don't know how I would cook without it. (I was the first "civilian" Craig Claiborne ever wrote about in his famous weekly New York Times column featuring cooks who were usually household names.)
One plane ticket: To wherever a good friend is who I want to spend time with.

What are you reading?

I read with my ears as well as my eyes. I just finished listening to 15 cassettes of (Ruth Rendell writing as) Barbara Vine's "Grasshopper". It was an amazing story about a group of friends who became so real to me that I could see them, know how they think, and still do. (I listen to books on my way to work, and walking to and from anywhere.) My eyes are glued to "The Last Lion", by William Manchester about Winston Churchill, his life from 1874-1932. I wanted to learn how a person from another time faced the prospect of war and prepared his country for it.

Who's been your biggest influence?

In business, Peter Drucker, especially his autobiography, "Adventures of a Bystander", published in 1978. He's my kind of guy, no degrees (and no SATs of course), who invented himself by learning from the people he met and the situations he faced from post-World War One in Austria, to pre-World War Two in England and then for about 65 years the US. Now, in his 90s, he is still teaching and writing. I once wrote him a letter about how he had inspired me and he sent me a lovely handwritten note of thanks.

What is your biggest mistake?

My third husband.

Is management an art or a science?

It is an art that you never quite master but have to keep practicing.

What do you reach for on your desk when the fire alarm goes off?

My latest notebook. I am now on number 248. Each page is dated and it contains notes from every phone conversation I have and every meeting I attend. I started keeping one in the early 70s when a client I admired enormously showed me his. I have kept them all.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Founded Manhattan-based RitaSue Siegel Resources, a recruiting firm specializing in design management personnel, in 1969 and has served as president ever since.
  • Clients include Nissan, Microsoft, Samsung and Polo Ralph Lauren.
  • Author of several books, including "American Graphic Design, Thirty Years of Imagery," and "How to Get a Job in Industrial Design", which is distributed to every graduating industrial design student in North America. Also a regular contributor to "Communication Arts" magazine.
  • Regular speaker at national and regional design conferences and design schools in North America and Europe.
  • As an author and public speaker, she has focused on promoting design strategy as a critical function in support of business objectives.

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