I used to think that was really lucky. I’ve had so many great opportunities. That had to be luck, right? Some of it was, but I also know that my success has also come from my beliefs:

Always do your best. I was taught early that if you’re going to do something you need to do it to the best of your ability. Anyone can be mediocre.

Do the right thing. Sara Lee has a Global Business Practices program with a mirror test. Simply put, if you do something, will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror and feel good? being ethical isn’t hard.

Trust your instincts. I was once hired to lead a team where I had none of the technical skills of those I would be managing. The advice I was given was to trust my instincts and my common sense and I would succeed.

Face your fears. There have been times when I was presented a new opportunity and I was afraid that I couldn’t do it. I realized that my fear was a sign that I was being pushed out of my comfort zone. These challenges were always the ones that helped take me to the next level.

Give back. It is extremely rewarding to see the success of those that I have managed and mentored. One of my goals is to hire people smarter than me and then spend time helping to develop them. The key is to know when to get out of their way so they can move ahead.

Be flexible. Not everything happens the way you want it to. I’ve always evaluated each opportunity by assessing what I would learn from it and if I would enjoy it. If I have those things, it is worth it regardless of level, title, or location.

One of my first managers instilled in me that you should do a job because you want to, not because you have to. Ultimately you are in control of your own life and you will be successful if you are doing what you enjoy and are passionate about.