The small things matter. This is a basic but important lesson I’ve learned throughout my life. Looking back, the small things have made a major difference in my life.

For all of us, it is important to understand the impact a kind gesture, note of recognition, or simply a moment of your time can have on those that surround us. We must be mindful of how words, actions, tones, and expressions can have an everlasting impact on another person’s self-confidence and self-worth.

At a young age, I had a tendency to overanalyze others’ words and actions which resulted in having a low self-esteem. Looking back, I now know that I was simply misinterpreting situations or not understanding or appreciating the differences in personal thinking styles. As a result, it took some time for me to build self-confidence. While this led to some emotional turmoil, in reflection, it has made me more attentive and intentional when interacting with others.

While my leadership style has been influenced by my early childhood experiences and struggles, it has also been guided and impacted by those who have surrounded me throughout my career. The first step in my career was an internship that led to employment at the American Red Cross.

It was during this time that I experienced much self-reflection. I immersed myself in service to others, which helped to build my self-confidence. Serving others and being surrounded by others who shared my same passion filled a gap of inadequacy that I hadn’t realized existed.Witnessing the impact of empathy, compassion, and kindness had on those facing devastating situations led me to understand the power and influence I can have on others: the small things made the biggest difference.

How has education affected your career?

I’ve had the benefit of attending educational institutions with small class sizes and a focus on community involvement and service. While each level of education prepared me with skills to succeed, what was most valuable was interacting with lifelong mentors and role models who have had a profound impact on my life and career.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field?

It is important to embrace change and be nimble, continually develop one’s cultural competence, and appreciate and value differences.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do?

My role model was my first manager, Trish DeVoy. She was a values-driven leader who eloquently balanced emotion and sympathy with confidence and conviction. She helped build my self-confidence by taking interest in my thoughts and ideas and assigning me with projects and meetings from the beginning. She was selfless, always giving others credit and showcasing their talents.