The Brave Leader Imagines—and Drives—Extraordinary Change

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to participate in and lead transformative work. It is those opportunities that make up my proudest professional accomplishments, as well as some of my biggest “wish I had done that differently” moments.

To me transformation is reining in the change that is happening continually as organizations naturally evolve and using that momentum to drive profound differences in the way we do business and service our customers. The brave leader makes note of the opportunity and has the ability not only to imagine extraordinary change, but also to drive it. Further, transformative work can come in a variety of forms, from technology-driven innovation to shifting the tectonic plates of established organizations to meet market needs.

These opportunities to create something entirely new are what truly invigorate me. Solving the unsolvable problem or leading teams through the fog of a yet-to-be-defined strategy are the milestones in my career that make all of the hours and sacrifice worthwhile. There is both an art and a science to driving transformative initiatives. Transformation requires enough structure to enable people to work swiftly and in harmony, but it must also allow enough room for creativity. Having a team with diverse backgrounds further enables us to achieve great things together, as our differences drive each of us past our boundaries.

As I’ve grown in my career, it is equally energizing to support my team members as they grow their own transformational leadership skills, as it has been to advance my own. A person who runs towards the problem and is not afraid to make and learn from mistakes is a rare find. I’ve intentionally sought out mentoring relationships with those individuals, particularly those of diverse backgrounds. And I’ve learned as much from them as from the experiences I’ve shared. It’s been fulfilling to watch these individuals grow their careers and lead their own teams.

I believe in “lift as you climb” and in creating an environment that is conducive to not only learning and growth, but also allowing others to thrive and shine. I’m grateful to look back on a career full of thrilling outcomes and working with high performing, diverse teams.