I believe that to truly be successful at anything in life—personal or business, as a man or a womanyou must be true to what you believe in and what you stand for spiritually, morally, and ethically. Know yourself: who you are and who you are not; know what you are good at and what you need to get better at. People will respect you for both. Knowing who you arewill allow you to build great teams and alliances that complement your strengths and weaknesses.
I have learned things along the way that I would offer as advice to women who aspire to be future corporate leaders:
- Be passionate. Love what you do or find something you love doing.
- You don’t have to act like a man or sound like a man to succeed—that’s a myth. Be comfortable with who you are, and focus on the strengths that come from being a woman.
- Actively seek out mentors both within and external to your organization.
- Network in and out of your industry. Also be willing to build networks across cultural and racial linesthere is more power in unity and more diversity of thought and learning.
- Develop the ability to communicate clearly and directly what you want in terms of your career goals, and set reasonable timelines for achieving those goals.
- Not all organizations are great places for women to work or advance, so be willing to show your boss and the organization what they can do to help you be successful. Acting like they know does not always mean they really do.
- Clearly communicate your desire and openness for feedback from the person you report to and your colleagues; actively seek it out on a periodic basis. Be willing to provide feedback to others as appropriate.
- Learn to delegate. We often feel as women we have to do it all. We don’t. That’s what teams are all aboutlearn to build them and guide them.
- Learn to laugh and have fun. Don’t take yourself and your environment so seriously that you can’t laugh and have fun.