I’ve been fortunate in having many different opportunities within the Textron family of businesses. I started out in the technical area and moved through operations, commercial applications, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, and more. I also benefited from on-the-job training, seminars, and other educational opportunities aimed specifically at female leaders.
These opportunities made it clear that I have a responsibility to reach out and do the same thing for others. I try always to ensure that there’s time in my schedule to listen and provide counsel. There’s a lot of potential out there that can be realized, often with very little effort on someone else’s part. if I can have even a small effect on someone in a positive way, it’s energizing for me.
There also were many people along my journey, both managers and co-workers, from whom I’ve picked up ideas and strategies that continue to serve me well. My advice is to look for role models wherever they can be found, and always be observant of the behaviors that make people successful and hold people back. After all, you can be the brightest person in the world, but if you can’t work well with others you’re not going to be successful. How you do things is just as important as what you do.
As I’ve grown as a leader, I’ve come to realize that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. As AAI’s new leader, I’ve spent a lot of time listening, learning, and getting to know the employees, the customers, and the businesses. This strategy is fundamental to effective leadership.
Finally, I believe that the same attitudes and behaviors that nurture success in everyday life can lead to success in the workplace—taking personal responsibility for one’s life and career, looking for and tackling challenges head-on, and being mindful of your actions and values. These are the actions that reflect on you as an individual and communicate your values to others. At the end of the day, all you have is your credibility.