At Thrive Global, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re inviting women business leaders to share how they Thrive. 

Thrive Global: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about prioritizing your health and well-being?
Kellyn Smith Kenny: Too many people spend their health gaining wealth. And then have to spend their wealth regaining their health.

TG: What’s the best advice that you would give women about preventing burnout?

KSK: Workplace culture is everything.  Make sure that your values are aligned with the values of the company you work for. And ensure you’re in a role that can contribute meaningfully to your company’s ambition.  Working hard inside an organization that is dysfunctional is exhausting – and you will burnout.  Working hard inside an organization that values your contribution is exhilarating – and you will thrive. 

TG: How do you prioritize when you have an overwhelming amount to do?
KSK: I divide my work into 4 buckets: (1) Urgent & Important, (2) Not Urgent & Important, (3) Urgent & Unimportant, and (4) Not Urgent & Unimportant.  I start by tackling everything in the first bucket. Once that’s done, I move on to the second bucket.  And everything that falls into the third or forth buckets get deprioritized… permanently.  

TG: Are there any small actions (or life “hacks”) that you swear by to help you prioritize, focus, connect with others, get solid sleep, or incorporate movement and nutrition into your life? Share any and all!

KSK: To get a good night’s sleep, avoid eating after 8:00 pm and abstain from eating sugar, caffeine and carbohydrates in the evening.  What gets measured gets done: set an activity and sleep goal and wear a fitness device (Apple Watch, fitbit, or smart ring) that can hold you accountable.


  • Kellyn Smith Kenny

    Chief Marketing Officer at Hilton

    Global Chief Marketing Officer at Hilton Worldwide; joining Hilton in January of 2018 to lead marketing strategy, media, measurement, creative and marketing operations for all 18 of Hilton’s iconic global brands, focusing on building Hilton’s brand presence globally through cutting edge marketing and advertising.  Kellyn has held senior marketing positions at Uber Technologies, Capital One, and Microsoft Corporation. Kellyn joined Uber to build the Marketing Department from the ground up.  At Capital One, Kellyn lead Marketing & Brand Strategy for the Consumer Banking division and held various Brand and Marketing leadership positions across banking, investing, and home lending. Kellyn has her undergraduate degree in economics from Colgate University and her MBA in Marketing, Management & Strategy, and Decision Analysis from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and daughters.