There are three key points for those I mentor, and they’re based on my personal journey.

  • Everything is possible
  • Don’t just talk – do.
  • Know the source of your strength.

I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. I lived in the city and attended public schools. I grew up when the inner city was at its best–atimeofhighachievement and solidarity, with supportive teachers, community leaders and neighbors who actually knew each other. But my secret weapon was my parents. They believed that I could do and be anything I dreamed of.

Everything is possible. Imagine if the phrase, “Why not?” were your mantra. Colleagues, managers, friends and even family may respond with seemingly logical answers that could limit your possibilities. Those responses may come from a place of love, fear, insecurity, or from their own inability to see possibilities in you and the world. When you consider your career in a context of limitless possibilities, it increases your choices. You ask different questions, spend time with new people, and become open to opportunity.

Don’t just talk – do. Distance yourself from the crowd by being someone who “gets it done.” Most people talk about what they plan to do. I connect with the passion and heartfelt intentions of well-meaning people. But I depend upon people who are able to convert good intentions, passion and planning into the desired outcome. These are my “go-to people,” those I can count on to get the job done. Because tapping into the limitless possibilities requires the collective resources of a diverse group of people, I am always seeking out others to include in my cadre of “go-to people.” So be the person who gets it done!

Know the source of your strength. With limitless possibilities and a commitment to execute, be very clear on the source of your strength. Sometimes an obstacle will knock you flat on your back. Other times you’ll get tired and worn out being the reliable “go-to” person. That’s when you’ll need clarity. My source is a religious faith that continues to grow and a husband who reminds me of that source when I get weak. Your source may be different. The key is to know it, and to call on it early and often