My advice to future leaders is to be honest with yourself, actively manage your career, and define success on your own terms.
I attribute the success of my career to having both confidence and conviction in my decisions. I have always tried to be extremely prepared, thoughtful and well-informed before making decisions. Oftentimes, however, immediate action is required, without much time for this diligence. That is also OK. Trusting my instincts has proved to be invaluable in such circumstances.
You cannot be afraid of making mistakes, as this can stifle your ability to be creative and take action. when mistakes happen, and they will, I find that acknowledging, learning, and moving on is the best way to deal with it. In order to develop and advance your career, you must be comfortable taking on risk.
I am also a great believer in mentoring. Although there are many benefits from both formal and informal mentoring programs, my personal experiences have all been a bit more informal. These relationships seemed to develop organically throughout my career. The length of mentoring can also vary; there are unique advantages to both short- and long-term relationships.
Another strategy I often use in business is observation. Be aware of the environment, culture, and people around you. There are countless non-verbal clues which can provide insight into professional situations. Oftentimes, people do not take the time to assess their surroundings prior to formulating their thoughts.
Balance your work and your life in the way that works best for you and your family. I make it a priority to manage my time carefully, constantly tweaking my schedule to adjust for the unexpected. I don’t think it’s possible to have everything be harmoniously flowing at all times. The steadiness comes over time, and often, in the moment, doesn’t seem very balanced at all. Lastly, it is vital to your success to let others know what you are doing and promote your wins. This has to be done tactfully, with good judgment and thoughtfulness.