I have worked for Hewlett-Packard/Agilent in human resources for almost 30 years. I have worked in every HR function, in global and local roles, and I have moved across the country and back again. I have learned:

Surround yourself with really amazing people. I try to stay one step ahead of the energetic, creative, people with whom I work. My role is to remove obstacles so that others can shine. In turn we all succeed. It’s about always asking questions and learning together. I work with leaders and colleagues who I respect and who motivate and challenge me every day!

Play on your side of the street. The list of opportunities will always be longer than the available resources. success depends on focusing on the critical few. My team has implemented a segmented approach to researching customer issues, so we can assess which actions would be of greatest value to the largest number of people. This is an invaluable tool to ensure focus while addressing our customers’ needs.

Ask questions, get input then take a stand. Being a leader takes the courage to make a decision. I have learned that I can most easily stand behind data driven decisions. Data helps me take the emotion out of most issues.

Change is inevitable; deal with it and move on. In today’s business environment you must be ready to adapt (or abandon) and move on. My team had been working six months on an exciting plan that would address HR support issues in a certain segment of our customers. Priorities and financing changed, and despite receiving corporate innovation awards, we had to make the tough decision to abandon this work. Although painful, it was time to move on to our next challenge.

Maintain balance in your life. As much as I enjoy my work, my family and friends are a top priority for me. My weekends are filled by traveling to watch my son play sports, working with my daughter in her classroom or spending time with friends. I have taken many red-eye flights to be home for an activity, and I would not change a thing. I lead a very rich life and I am thankful for the opportunities I have experienced.