My life and work has been blessed by great opportunities, as well as the support and shared wisdom of diverse family members, friends, mentors, and champions. This good fortune, along with a willingness to embrace change, learn quickly, work hard, focus on results and have the confidence that I can make a difference, have all contributed to my accomplishments and perspectives.

An infant when my parents and I immigrated to the United States, I have learned many important life lessons about staying true to oneself while extracting the best from all cultures and people. From the unconditional support I continue to receive from my family to the many leaders who have broadened my perspective, it is a diversity of opinion and life experiences that I most value.

Now, when I mentor others, I recall what I most appreciate in the excellent sponsors I have had over the years. These talented leaders have listened, encouraged, pushed and inspired me to take on new challenges. I appreciate their candor and strength of character in balancing what is best for the individual, the team, and the firm. Finding the right mentoring relationship is more about respect, trust, and chemistry than the title and level of the persons involved.

Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility. There are some rare individuals who are born leaders, but the rest of us are made through our experiences, education, and a mindset and confidence about stepping up to the front of the crowd. Mentors, family, and others nurture mindset and confidence, but it is really up to the individual to make the deliberate choice to prepare for and accept leadership responsibilities and challenges.

For the long-term success of a company, selecting and developing future leaders is as critical as managing the balance sheet, because employees are every firm’s most valuable assets. High potential (Hi-Po) employees at every level of the business are tracked, developed, assessed, and rotated through job assignments. The company makes a large investment in our Hi-Po employees, but it is up to each person to take accountability for their own career development and path. This is where a mentor can be an invaluable resource.

Every person is presented with different life challenges and opportunities. Take some risks, have some adventures, do your best and live with no regret.