As I look back on my career, I see it as a series of opportunities. Every success I’ve experienced was an opportunity seized and acted upon.
It actually goes back to school days, when my parents insisted I take as many math classes as were offered. My parents had high expectations for me. It was difficult and didn’t appear much like an opportunity at the time, but those expectations were the foundation of my future success.
Armed with self confidence and analytical skills, I took computer science courses—a new and exciting territory for women in the early 1970s. Those classes provided me the opportunity to teach high-level mathematics and computer programming in a new high school. A few years later I earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering, which eventually led me to Salt River Project.
During my years at SRP, I have planned for facilities to house corporate growth and managed srp’s land Department. Today, I work in a different capacity, managing SRP’s communications and community relations. As an added bonus, SRP has given me the chance to be involved in the nonprofit community. There’s no substitute for the growth in character and compassion as a result of volunteering.
Opportunity is often veiled, and it takes practice and courage to identify it and act on it. Other tools that I would like to share are:
Patience. Take the time to observe and listen.
Perseverance. You can’t win all the time. When you don’t, pick yourself up and get back in the game.
Communication. You must be able to communicate at all levels, whether it’s in writing or orally.
Analytic Strength. This is the great equalizer and an invaluable skill.
Self confidence. This underpins the generosity and loyalty necessary for leadership.
I’ve also learned that life isn’t always fair and if you’re constantly looking at the scoreboard, you’re only handicapping yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff and avoid being a martyr. Make decisions that are best for you, and always make time for those you love—it’s just good for your soul.
Finally, I’ve found there’s no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and pushing yourself to do your best. If it feels difficult, you’re probably doing all the right things. Enjoy the journey.