My journey to the executive title has been one of great pleasure and fulfillment. The credit, given by my peers to many of the leadership qualities I possess, really belongs to the countless special guardians who have protected and provided the strong inner core that is common in every leader and yet makes them unique. For those aspiring for a C-title, here are three important principles that guide me.

First, keep an open mind so you can dynamically adapt. Being open to ideas, regardless of the source or the paradigm shifts they may bring, has helped me to grow. I have been hum bled by transformational ideas shat tering my belief systems. An example is the challenge of leading a multi generational workforce through today’s rapidly changing business environ ment. By emphasizing a free flow of ideas, I have witnessed the unparalleled performance we have achieved through the marriage of the energy, passion, and drive of the Gen X/Yers with the stability, experience, and serenity of the senior staff.

Second, build partnerships. My life satisfaction comes from encouraging others to thrive and become the best they can be. This requires the mentor ing, care and protection that I take very seriously. Empowering others to contribute to initiatives is one way I encourage this growth. I also find that time spent getting input from all stakeholders in any proposal is invalu able to crafting agreements that are a winwin from all viewpoints.

Third, focus on your own well being. In today’s business climate, expect work to spill over to home and vice versa. I focus on worklife synergy rather than worklife balance. When demands start to get beyond my tip ping point, I shift focus to what is acceptable vs. ideal. However, proac tively empowering my trusted team mates has minimized the need for this. Taking care of your physical, mental, social, and spiritual health is crucial. I find the regular practice of workouts and meditation effective stress busters. And this quote from Mother Teresa always puts a smile on my face and reenergizes me during tough times: “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”

Finally, while it is important to learn from the past and keep your eye on the target, do not forget to pay attention and enjoy where you are today. Everything else in your rise to a Clevel is a natural side effect.