If I were to counsel women who aspire to become tomorrow’s corporate leaders, I’d offer a few suggestions:

  • First, find your strengths and focus on them. Understand where you can make your greatest contribution.
  • At the same time, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. You have emerging strengths; it’s there you might discover your greatest learning and growth.
  • Recognize the power of mentoring— have a mentor and be one. Your job is not only to elevate yourself but also those around you. I
  • Last, it’s very important for women to build affiliations outside their usual circles… and not just for networking. It helps broaden your perspective and elevate your vision. On the national front, for example, I serve as a director on the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and as member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. This helps me contribute and keeps me close to evolving standards. Community ties are equally important. In my case, this includes working with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, and the Independent Colleges of Southern California. Such affiliations contribute to your growth and your relevancy.