I believe that, in this complex, challenging, and exciting world, there are many opportunities where I can make a real difference. I look to actively tackle the challenges that come my way, and I have confidence in my ability to find a path forward, even when I am doing new things or entering unfamiliar territory. There have been times in my past when I was offered a promotion and hesitated, not knowing if I was the right person for the job. Now, I want new challenges, and I’ve found that by being more confident in my overall ability, and being stronger mentally, I can jump any hurdles in front of me.

At Pfizer, each experience has helped me to grow, and has added to my circle of people I know and trust. I started at Pfizer as a pharmaceutical sales representative, and was one of the first female sales representatives in our industry in Japan. I had to overcome many obstacles as a pioneer in the field. However, I learned to work spontaneously: planning my work, executing it, and taking responsibility for the results. I also learned about the importance of interpersonal relationships and the dynamics of teamwork. With success in sales, I was put in charge of pharmaceutical products. I learned to enjoy immersing myself fully in my work. After honing my skills and being evaluated by those around me, I became confident in my ability. My third job was product marketing team leader. Here, being an outstanding individual contributor was not enough. Great teamwork was also necessary. I learned to communicate about overall strategy, and engage team members in ways to motivate them to execute on that strategy. I also learned that achievements gained as a team bring more satisfaction than those gained individually.

Good communication is difficult but essential; it sets leaders apart. Some people have high-level skills, but do not emerge as leaders, because they fall short in communicating with others. A leader has to listen to, and encourage, ideas; be firm when necessary; be generous in conveying gratitude and acknowledging contributions; and be open to revealing one’s true thoughts without hiding behind the armor we often take to work.

I have learned something from just about everyone I’ve worked with. I am thankful to those who have taken the time to teach me, and I demonstrate my gratitude by teaching others and giving them my support.