You Can Do Amazing Things

It is an incredible honor to be selected as a Woman Worth Watching in Leadership. Looking back on my career, I have been blessed to work with amazing leaders who significantly influenced my personal and professional growth and development. The list is long, and I am grateful for their investment and belief in me, even when I was not so sure I was on the right path.

Learning opportunities present themselves every day. For me, it is about getting good at the basics, as they are the foundation of continued growth and development. Here are a few tips I have learned along the way:

  • Mentors: Be one and have many. Mentors are critically important to your development, as they provide honest and constructive feedback. We all need them; and at times, mentors may have more confidence in you than you have in yourself. I have had the opportunity to mentor individuals, and what fills my bucket is a mentee sharing his or her success story, sometimes even years later. Mentors are personally invested in you; lean in and make the most of the opportunity.
  • “It’s not the critic that counts…the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who at the best knows high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” This is an excerpt from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt, and it is on a little piece of paper in my office. The leader who shared this quote asked me to stretch and leave what I was convinced was the career milestone I was striving to achieve. Not only was he right, but more important, I learned there was a new path I enjoyed even more. When opportunity knocks, take the leap. It is better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all.
  • “Find the right church and sit in any pew…you can always change pews later.” This advice came much later in my career and at an inflection point for me. I have shared this many times while interviewing candidates and during networking opportunities. It is quite simple really: Find an organization that aligns with your vision and values, regardless of the role. You will be much happier when you do.
  • Feedback is a gift. I provide feedback all the time, some might say too much, because I want employees to be their best selves. When you find someone who gives feedback, embrace it, as you will miss it when it is no longer given.

Each interaction, conversation, and coffee with a colleague is a time for us to engage, listen, and learn. When you are open to the challenge, you will find you can do amazing things.