It’s always interesting to pause for a time and reflect back on how you came to be where you are and what values and philosophies you hold true. It’s all so personal and so unique to each person, but I’ve found I’ve learned so much from the experiences of others – sometimes what to emulate and sometimes what not to. So perhaps the tenets I outline here will be helpful to some.
This too shall pass. This Persian proverb notes that all conditions, both positive and negative, are temporary. It reminds me that while there may be truly sad moments, disappointments, or elation in life, it’s still important to have perspective and remember that the moment, situation or feeling isn’t permanent.
Be present. It’s very hard to strike and maintain the right balance of priorities. The inflection point is different for everyone and changes constantly. One thing that really works for me is to be in the moment at the moment. When I’m working, I’m highly focused on working and when I’m enjoying my friends and family, I’m present with them.
Surround yourself with trusted advisors. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by some truly amazing people. At work I’ve developed critical relationships across all levels, all parts of our business and with a diverse group of people. This community helps me avoid mistakes, understand the needs of others and provides terrific perspective.
Never stop exploring. This is the company motto for The North Face and I love it. It means be open to opportunities, learn continuously, give 100 percent to that to which you commit and strive to reach full potential. I was given opportunities within groups I would have never considered, and I loved them all.
Optimism is infectious. The world has endless possibilities and the glass is far more full than it is empty. Getting caught up in negativity or pessimism is draining, so I surround myself with people who are positive, energetic and solution-oriented.
Don’t sacrifice your principles. There’s a difference between behaviors and actions and values and principles. I’m very open to adapting my actions and behaviors, but I don’t compromise my moral compass, particularly when it comes to ethics and integrity. Simply, I have to be true to myself and sometimes that requires challenging the firm or your peers in a respectful way.