The principles that guide my interactions with others took shape during my early childhood years and were heavily influenced by my parents. My parents expected me, the oldest of six children, to be a role model for my siblings. This meant setting a good example and being a positive influence. This was a big responsibility. I had to work hard, as I knew my actions would have an impact on their development. All of the experiences and choices that I made were built on these same guiding principles as I graduated high school and started college.
I joined the Air Force and moved through the ranks to achieve leadership positions. I was fortunate to work with great leaders and mentors from a variety of nationalities and backgrounds. They were positive influences who truly cared about my success and were instrumental in coaching me to continue my education and in strengthening my leadership skills. During my Air Force career I was sought out to lead different projects and special assignments. Even during tough and challenging situations, I never wavered on my leadership principles and the way I interacted with others.
I continued to put my skills and experience to use when I joined Salt River Project. These same principles have been key to my success as I progressed from a senior business analyst into executive management.
Throughout my career – whether it was in the military or the corporate world – as well in as my personal life, I have followed the same basic principles that were instilled by my parents. No matter what situation or challenge I have faced in my life, they have helped guide me.
Be a good listener. Listen with an open mind. Don’t judge. Be compassionate. Be open and honest. Provide truthful feedback. Communicate openly and solicit employee input.
Be flexible. Adapt. Embrace change as an opportunity. Lead by example. Do the right thing. Empower your employees. Continue to develop your skills.
Give back. Volunteer. Become a mentor. Find opportunities for your employees to grow and develop. Stay positive. Avoid negative emotions which cloud your good judgment and drain your energy. Finally, live by the golden rule: always treat others the way you want to be treated.