Throughout my 18 years at Lockheed Martin, I’ve learned that a holistic approach is the key to a rewarding and fulfilling career and life. I believe there are five leadership tenets critical to corporate success:
Develop and exhibit technical competence in your field. Perfecting your craft will be the cornerstone of your career. It is important to gauge the appropriate time to move to the next opportunity so that you don’t skip a step or miss an opportunity.
Communicate clearly at all levels. A true leader conveys clear and unambiguous messages. If you are the best at what you do but can’t communicate, it doesn’t matter. It is just as important to advance your innovative ideas and those of your employees to senior managers. Two-way communication is a must. Establish and articulate a clear vision that inspires, motivates and mobilizes people. Corporate leaders must understand where they are going so their team can follow them there.
Care about the people in your organization. It is amazing how much trust you can build when people know that you are honest with them and have their best interests in mind. You can practice this right now!
Understand the values and priorities of senior managers. Connecting the dots between their objectives and your actions will open the door to success.
From a holistic perspective, understanding the difference between boundaries and limitations is the most important advice I can give. I am clear on my personal boundaries and limitations—they are not the same thing. As women, we face different challenges in the workplace and at home. It is imperative to have a clear understanding of self and balance. It is not necessary to choose between success in business and success at home; however, success at both requires a significant amount of work and careful, constant rebalancing. Understand that the potential tension of the balance between your family, outside interests and your career is natural—don’t let it overtake you. Fine-tune your personal process on all fronts and you will find that the level of fulfillment you gain from “doing it all” energizes you, your family and your team. Being a levelheaded, content and happy person helps you to be a better leader for your organization and your employees, as well as an inspiring example for your family.