I believe honesty and integrity are the most important qualities for professional and personal success. These are the values that drive who I am and that helped to get me where I am today. I pride myself on the fact that my family and friends consider me a “real” person.
Do not be afraid to take chances. As a mentor once told me, “If you think the job exactly fits your talents, it probably won’t be challenging enough for you.” Always seek developmental opportunities that enable you to grow and develop professionally. I’ve always found that overcoming obstacles has helped me become a better person and professional.
When I was named the first female plant manager of one of Whirlpool’s manufacturing facilities, I knew I was setting the precedent for future female plant managers. While I had management experience, the technical side was more challenging. I worked long, hard hours to gain the knowledge I needed. I worked every job and every shift in the factory, which helped me better understand the day-to-day workings of the factory and better empathize with our employees. I established a high level of credibility among our employees and was a better manager because of it.
I love being a leader. I’ve learned that leadership is not a formula or an equation. You must instill in your team a sense of possibility. A good leader is supportive and empowers people to go beyond what they thought was possible.
It is essential to have balance in your life. I balance time for myself, my family, my career and my community. I think of it in terms of credits and debits. You must make the appropriate deposits and withdrawals to keep all areas of your life in balance.
Strong family support is crucial. After the birth of our second child, my husband and I decided we didn’t want our children in daycare 10 hours a day. This meant that one of us needed to stay home. My husband gave up his career and earnings to stay at home with our kids. This allowed me much flexibility in my roles and responsibilities. I consider him a huge part of my professional success.
Lastly, pursue a career in something you’re passionate about. Don’t worry about money. If you do what you’re passionate about, the money will follow.