A wise man once said, “A mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight.” I consider myself blessed to have received invaluable mentoring from many strong leaders and family members. My career has afforded me incredible access to some of the world’s best business leaders. Because of this, I do not have a sole mentor, but many. These days, as I work with young rising stars, I try to pass on several pieces of advice that shaped my career.
Forget that you’re female. Over the span of my career, I’ve seen more and more women progress up the ladder and earn a seat at the executive table. The female leaders of previous generations made this possible by deservedly earning their seats. My advice? Whether you’re male or female, simply work hard, make big results happen, and you will be noticed. Love what you do. If you have passion for your job, then the best of what you have to offer will be apparent in all you do.
Stay true to yourself. Never compromise your values for anyone. Have courage to stand up for what you know to be right. If you do not let fear manage your actions, you will thrive.
Focus on winning today. Too often young professionals are focused on the next position. You create your own success, so make it a priority to win today. If you achieve success in your current job, people will rally behind you, and you will grow.
Develop strong networks. Surround yourself with the best and the brightest. Don’t restrict yourself to relationships with leaders in your area of expertise. Get outside the box and interact with lots of groups. You never know what opportunities might arise from new and different relationships.
Finally, as you grow in your career, make it a point to share what you’ve learned. It feels great to see others achieve their highest potential and know that you have played a small part in that growth.
One Comment on "DeDe Priest"
Congratulations De De on this award. I remember working with you at Torbitt & Castleman in Kentucky, and you were a very inspiring woman then. I have since moved on and work in healthcare in Anchorage Alaska and have almost completed by Bachelors Degree in Human Services (24 credits to go part time) and am now considering law school. My personal passion is the decriminalization of the mentally ill, which are another vulnerable and marginalized group.
As a woman I commend you for taking on a charitable organization that supports women who have or are encountering hardship. I have been fortunate in that I have had strong mentorship without which, I may not have been able to navigate the terrain of returning to shcool, and moreover committing to complete a goal.
Congratulations to you and thank you for being an inspiration to many women.
Tina M. Walsh-Morgan