You Have to Know Who to Call

Relationships matter in a career. We’ve all had those pivotal moments where you are offered new, bigger, higher-stakes role or “hot job,” and you have to figure out if it’s really what you want. Are you ready? Do you have the support to succeed—or at least to try—and if you fail, pick yourself back up again? There are those times when the answer is “no” or “not now,” and then there are times when you’re just not sure what to do. In those moments, I know who to call.

I call my trusted circle or my “personal board of advisors”— people I can rely on for advice, expertise, and help. Their perspectives and opinions matter to me. I welcome their feedback—even the difficult kind—as I know it is intended to help and lift me up.

My earliest trusted advisors were my parents. They taught me early in my life that I could do whatever I set my mind to. Hard work, determination, and perseverance were critical ingredients for success. I also learned to be kind from them. I saw how they treated people with dignity and respect, and I knew I wanted to be like them.

I believe in kindness and leading with compassion. You can achieve the best results and lead with empathy and understanding. They are not mutually exclusive! This is an important part of intentional and inclusive leadership.

As a leader, I need to feel comfortable with my choices every day, and learn from my inevitable missteps. There will be important learning moments that will help shape future decisions and actions. And while I know that I’m not always going to always get everything right, my advisors are only a phone call or an email away.