Success means many things to many people, but my definition revolves around tackling interesting challenges, helping people maximize their potential, and having fun—all while delivering results. I firmly believe one of my main responsibilities is to give people opportunities to grow, and to encourage and celebrate with them. Every day I ask myself: “Did I do something today that helped someone grow and develop?” If you think about it, a business doesn’t exist without people, and people are the only appreciating assets.
Many people have helped me in my career and given me unimaginable opportunities. I never aspired to a specific title or position, yet with their help I have been fortunate to work in many different functions that have led to general management. For me, the journey has been so interesting—each position has been a learning experience and a chance to make a difference to the business and the people in the organization. The chance to serve customers by providing innovative products and solutions that make their lives easier or better is wonderfully rewarding.
I believe we need to “be who we are.” Over the years, I’ve encountered people in the business world who sometimes think that “nice” and “successful” aren’t necessarily a match. But I’ve found that you can be a nice person and still hold people accountable to tough goals. It’s important to be a team player, be fair, and treat people the way you’d want to be treated.
You also should make the most of every job—there is something to be learned in every position. Remember that along with your interpersonal skills, people are looking to see how you, and the teams you lead, perform. It’s results that drive the business. Do what you need to do to deliver results, with high integrity.
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a career. You don’t have to do it all … all at the same time. Participate in the things you enjoy outside of work, but know your priorities, and don’t take on more than you can integrate into your working life. I routinely rotate my volunteer activities to maintain the right balance between my family, work, and where I wish to “give back” for all my blessings.
Finally, one of my very astute bosses taught me the importance of taking regular vacations—and he made sure to take them by scheduling his weeks off a year in advance. We all need time to refresh in order to do and be our best. For my husband and me, any day on a beach is a good day!