In considering “what advice could serve as a chart and compass for navigating a channel toward a successful career as a corporate leader?” I reflect on the journey that started long ago and the continuing journey ahead. The query brings me back to a moment when I wrote in my high school yearbook: “Some people set their sights higher than others.” You continually need to challenge yourself, seek out mentors, be a mentor, tap your strengths, understand your weaknesses, and believe in your convictions.

It’s vital to be passionate about what you’re doing. Infuse enthusiasm in all you do, as well as among those you work with and lead.

Encourage a continuous quest for knowledge and customer satisfaction.

Leadership encompasses responsibility, action, service, and intuition—guided by common sense, and grounded by facts. It’s not bluster, inaction, or excuses.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if people had not taken risks with me. So, as you move along a path toward greater responsibility, you have the duty to teach and mentor those who follow your footsteps. You must be willing to work hard and encourage your team to find creative answers even when convention says there are none. Realize there are no short cuts, and execute decisions with unparalleled business ethics.

Be diligent about eliminating private prejudices, keeping your emotions in balance, and being a role model for positive change. When I think of the importance of taking time to mentor and be a role model, I keep my daughter’s future in my mind’s eye—along with a professional duty to participate in industry organizations, and a social responsibility to be involved in my community. With my husband’s fantastic support and encouragement, we’re able to provide our daughter a paradigm of normalcy through example that says achieving your goals can be done regardless of gender.