We all approach our lives and our work differently. And in today’s diverse workplace, we explore different avenues for pur- suing our goals. I’d like to share five guiding principles that have helped me pave a path to success and fulfillment in my own career and my life. I hope they help you do the same.

FIRST: Be passionate and be present. I’m passionate about all I do, and I’m very focused on the task at hand. When I’m meeting with you, I’m not answering a ringing telephone or checking my Blackberry. I’m meeting with you—you have my full attention and my time.

SECOND: Listen and learn. One of the most important things I continue to learn as I move forward in my career is that I don’t know it all. I will always learn from people around me—peers and individuals who report to me. I listen to them, and, in my leadership role, I provide my employees with the tools, access and visibility they need to bring their unique talents and skills to bear.

THIRD: Take the risks! Too many of us with children and other home responsibilities are afraid to tip our work-life balance. We underestimate our own strengths. Take a careful look at the time and effort you put into your career now—you already may be handling a level of responsibility similar to one you’d take on in a new role. The measured risks I’ve taken throughout my career have rewarded me, without compromising my family’s lifestyle.

FOURTH: Be a role model. At home and in the office, I try to model behaviors I would encourage others to follow—by being passionate and caring about the needs of those around me; also by caring about, and caring for, myself.

FIFTH: Don’t sweat the small stuff. As women, we think we need to do it all perfectly, all the time. We don’t. We need help from others to build on our strengths and fill our weaknesses. We need to set the priorities that count and let less important things slide.

We also need to reward ourselves for our hard work by pursuing outside interests that fulfill us physically and spiritually. We may not be able to have it all, but we can come close. And we can certainly enjoy all we have!