Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work at some great companies, and to work with some very talented people. Now, at this stage in my career, my highest priority is to help Cardinal Health develop its future leaders. Here’s some key advice I share with them and with others who are committed to maximizing their career potential:

Take advantage of educational and personal development opportunities when they’re available. I started my career in the 1970s, at General Electric, in an administrative position. GE offered an array of educational programs after work hours, and I enrolled in many of the IT and programming courses. Then, thanks to a tuition reimbursement opportunity at Apple Computer, I was able to earn both my bachelor’s degree and MBA. Pursuing these educational opportunities really helped me gain experience and learn new skill sets that helped me build my career in IT.

Get involved in leadership opportunities outside your place of work, and in your community. Community service and volunteerism are excellent ways to give back, build your personal network and develop leadership skills that can serve you well in your career. At Cardinal Health, we encourage employees to get involved in the community in a number of ways, including offering grants to nonprofit organizations in honor of individual employee and team volunteer efforts. Regardless of where you are in your career, volunteer work provides a great opportunity to hone your ability to work with and inspire others. These are key qualities that most companies seek in future leaders.

Don’t underestimate the value networking and mentoring can play in your personal and professional growth. Invest time in understanding how decisions are made about promotions and career development within your company. Proactively seek men- toring relationships with people who inspire you. And remember that mentoring is important at every stage in your career develop- ment. Even now, in my current position on the executive leader- ship team at Cardinal Health, I benefit greatly through the men- toring relationships I’ve formed through the years. Likewise, I sin- cerely enjoy leading corporate initiatives that focus on the develop- ment of women leaders within our company. Doing so helps me feel meaningfully connected to the needs of our future leaders and provides me the chance to help some of our best talent really tap into their full career potential.