My advice to young women of today is: Mission First, People Always.
Do what is right, legally and morally. Treat everyone with respect and dignity. Instill teamwork and values. The mission must get done, but if you take care of people they will do the right thing the first time. Do what’s right, even when no one is looking; then you never have to worry about what you have said or done.
Teamwork and values are essential. Look for team players and reward teamwork, not back-stabbing. Expect people to be technically competent but not expert in everything. We all make mistakes; underwrite all honest mistakes, but learn from them. Give credit to those who do the work and publicly recognize them.
Ensure everyone has the opportunity to be all they can be. Set people up for success: set the standard, train them, and give them leader’s intent. Train people on what “right” looks like, and enforce it. Mentor them to excel, and counsel those who fall below the standard.
Utilize diversity: every person brings a special talent to the table—identify it and leverage it. Ensure people understand how they play a critical role in the success or failure of your organization.
Take initiative—you know what to do. Communicate up and down the chain. Listen to what your subordinates tell you, and share it with superiors. Show subordinates you value them by sharing information with them. Get to know people—their dreams and concerns. Once they trust you, they’ll share concerns and problems with you. Email does not equal communication. Get out from behind the computer: find out what is going on, assess morale, and check motivation levels.
Power down to and train subordinates. This way they grow, and you are free to assess and strategize for the future. Mentorship and performance feedback are critical. Put performance feedback in writing and state strengths, areas to work on, and road ahead.
Do the best you can do in every job, even those you think are not career enhancing. Don’t be a “yes” person. Disagreement does not mean disrespect. If you do not know something, admit it and seek out the answer. Accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. If you don’t love what you do, find another job.