Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” For me, personal responsibility has always translated to professional success. As women, we must strive to preserve ourselves, our essence, even as we navigate the sometimes rough waters of the business world. There are ten personal commandments that have served me well over the years as I climbed the corporate ladder; but moreimportantly, they strengthened me as a woman and a citizen of the world.

  • Be clear about who you are. Embrace yourself, to whom you belong, and what your values are.
  • Nothing is important enough to lie about. Speak truth to power. Your integrity and reputation are invaluable—carefully guard them.
  • Be consistent. Say what you mean. People may not agree with me, but they never have to guess about my position. I do not change positions with the wind, and I do not change to be politically expedient. I have passed on offers because they werenot consistent with my values.
  • You can’t lead where you are not willing to go. Simply put, be decisive and lead by example.
  • Get a life and keep it. This is immensely important. Love, live, and laugh. I cannot stress enough the importance of balance and wholeness.
  • It is not about just you. Find people to mentor and nurture, and in the process, you will grow enormously.
  • Mentoring relationships must be reciprocal. What have you done for your mentors? You must give to get.
  • Love it or leave it. If you cannot find joy and satisfaction in your work, find a new path—period.
  • Value all people. Look for the best in everyone even in the darkest times. And last…
  • Try not to date turkeys, and whatever you do, do not marry one. A spouse who is insecure and does not believe in your dreams is a distraction, to say the least.

As you journey through your career,you will learn that the professional is often personal. I hope these personal commandments will inspireyou as you climb.