I’m a testament and firm believer in taking the road less traveled, then using your intellect and instincts to guide you along the way.
Beginning with my first job after college, while studying to become a pharmacist, a guidance counselor suggested a summer internship that would enhance my joy of writing. For some, this may not have been an easy change to make, but the position ended up adhering well with who I am.
I’ve faced pressures to approach projects in ways that weren’t always true to me. When I decided to return to Flowers, many people didn’t think it was a beneficial move. They felt I had too much promise to go backwards and should pursue a more high-profile opportunity, especially in a recession. For me, this was a quality of life move. So, I forged ahead and now am CEO of a recession-surviving, thriving company.
Today, the pressures are different. As the only person other than the agency’s founder to serve in this role, I’ve had the option of conforming to my predecessor’s style and business approaches. However, I’ve relished opportunities to stay focused on Flowers’ success, including new business opportunities, maintaining existing client relationships, and creating new ones. I decided to grow talent and leadership mostly from within our company, turning the challenges of working with millennials into opportunities. As a new leader, I realize the need for strong advisors and raw talent. This mix continues to boost morale and benefit the company and our people.
Add to all of this my role as a wife, mother of an active three-year-old son, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, which, for many, could produce more pressure. Personally, I don’t subscribe to the traditional theory that I can do or be it all. At this point along my journey, I strive to set the example of simply doing the best I can, which may be different each day. On some days this might result in things not going as planned or as well. But, in taking the road less traveled, I celebrate my successes, learn from my challenges, and keep on forging ahead.
How has education affected your career?
My education has been at the core of my career; I constantly seek to be as informed as possible in every aspect of who I am and what I do. Education truly is power.
Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it?
If it has, I haven’t embraced it. It may be a naïve perspective, but I believe we all have a purpose that is beyond ourselves, and the challenges we face help us become more invested in the work we do.
What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career?
Bring your whole self to work. Don’t measure your success based on anyone else’s. Be absolute about who you are and what you believe and move forward with that as a guide.