On my desk is a small plaque inscribed with a quote from Nelson Mandela, “There are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment to rest here, to look back on the distance that I have come … I dare not linger for my long walk has not yet ended.”

I believe it is important that we impress upon the future generation of leaders the value of the following: never losing sight of your goal, acknowledging successes along the way and allowing yourself time to revitalize your mind and body for the next leg of your journey.

I have been fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career, and all have impressed upon me the importance of having a clear vision of where I am headed and moving toward that vision with purpose and intention.

In addition, the path to achieving your vision may not always be linear and navigation can be quite tricky. If not careful, we can be seduced into going after things that bring only financial rewards or increased visibility. However, it is important to assess if those things are getting you closer to your vision. While we all enjoy the promotion and the opportunity for upward mobility, it is important to understand how and where that fits into your overall plan. Being committed to your vision requires courage and the ability to make unpopular and difficult decisions.

While working towards your vision, it is important to encourage yourself by acknowledging the progress along the way. Moving forward is also worthy of celebration. Remind yourself to look back on the distance that you have come.

Finally, achieving your vision will require time and energy and can be mentally consuming. Giving yourself permission to regroup and re-energize is critical.

As I move through my career, I am learning the importance of patience, commitment and self-care. My desire is to share and serve as a guide to those on the first leg of their journey. I truly believe that to whom much is given, much is required.