Growing up the youngest of four children, I was raised by two loving parents who set high expectations and standards. We were challenged to attain high levels of academic achievement, to volunteer our time to worthy community causes and projects, and to be spiritually centered. Strong family values, integrity, fairness, and respect for all kinds of people and diverse perspectives were instilled in us. We were taught that the only limitations we had were the ones we imposed on ourselves.
This strong foundation has served me very well in my career and life in general. A love of constant learning—whether it is formal or informal, through preparation and broad experience with all kinds of people and situations—has afforded me the confidence and comfort to navigate otherwise devastating professional and social situations.
I believe that the most talented and accomplished people are those who have not only mastered their craft, but have enhanced the practice of their craft and their profession by creating something new, different, and valuable that others emulate. I also believe that the most accomplished people are endlessly curious about all kinds of things; that they are never “satisfied” with their performance; that they are self-energizing; and that they share their abilities, knowledge, and experiences generously with others.
Successful people invariably view failure as a learning experience—not as a position in life. The greatest fear is not in failure but in not trying at all. I believe that it is important to seek new challenges that stretch your intellect, skills, and comfort zone. Sometimes that means stepping out of a clear path for one less certain, more risky, and yet with greater promise. Being able to recognize hidden opportunity is a great asset.
Finally, I believe in being surrounded by colleagues and friends who motivate and challenge, who are honest with you about your shortcomings, and with whom you can freely “test” your ideas and dreams.