Bing part of a two-career couple has certainly made for some decision-making and geographic challenges, but I try not to see that as an obstacle. Ibelieve that it’s best to steer your career to areas where you have passion,need learning, can contribute—and which you can align with your homelife priorities.
KNOWLEDGE & STRATEGIES
Keep your ego in check. Ego closes you off from honest information and makes you unapproachable. Ego serves well if you personally have all of the answers needed to improve and grow your division. Idon’t believe any one person has all the answers, so Itry to keep the doors open; that takes having a style that makes people comfortable coming in to say that a direction we are taking isn’t working or that they don’t have the answer to a problem we need solved.
It’s very satisfying to be at a stage where you can give something back to someone coming up behind you, and mentoring is one of the most energizing things you can do. The key to mentoring is to avoid a supervisory role. A mentor is not there to fix the person’s issues. The mentor’s role is to open up the horizon … to let the person see options that they might not see. It’s also a role that requires honesty. Tiptoeing doesn’t help anyone. The mentor can point out weaknesses and suggest outcomes or solutions.
I joined the company within sales and marketing, specifically Mopar Parts Division, where I am now. My career was spent in the controller’s function, a path that moved me all around the company because our finance teams are “embedded” within the operating functions they serve. It was great peeking over the shoulder of every function in a way that you can’t do easily from just one area. I moved back into sales and marketing about eight years ago and have headed our Fleet/Commercial Sales Division and now Global Service and Parts—positions that gave me profit and loss responsibility and a most satisfying challenge.