Habits: Kiki McLean, senior partner, MD, global head of public affairs, Porter Novelli

You always have a chance to fix a bad decision, but you can't meet a challenge with no decision.

Morning ritual
Generally, I'm up at 5am to check my email and the news. I turn on Way Too Early with Willie Geist at 5:30. From 7 to 8am, it's all about my children – making lunch, getting them dressed, and then our family sits down for breakfast.

Required reading
The Washington Post is the starter – and not just the national news. I always read the metro section in part because it's my community, but also because what people are concerned about at the local level is sure to be a national issue. Politico's Playbook is a must-read, as is NBC's First Read. Then I can follow the stories I need from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and others. I also read People regularly.

First PR job
Jody Powell hired me as an AE at Ogilvy & Mather in DC in 1988. I was 25 years old.

Proudest career achievement
To be part of the winning campaign to elect Bill Clinton President of the US in 1992.

Most regrettable career moment
I don't regret any part of my career thus far. There have certainly been disappointments and I've definitely made more than my share of mistakes, but each has taught me something of value. I wouldn't trade those lessons for the world.

Favorite city to travel to on business
Chicago. I love the people, the neighborhoods, the politics. I was fortunate to be located there temporarily in 1996 as communications director for the Democratic National Convention. It was a great experience.

Best career advice you've ever received
Don't be afraid to make a decision. You always have a chance to fix a bad decision, but you can't meet a challenge with no decision.

Most distinct aspect of your office
The door of my office is covered in pictures of my children.

Person to call in a crisis
My husband, Joe McLean. He is the person I trust most. He's not afraid of the unexpected, has terrific judgment, and is as smart as all get out.

Ideal job, if not in PR
My dream second job is to teach elementary school.

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