Throughout my life, my mom has been my number one mentor and role model. She taught me by example that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” and to take the blessings of my life and give them to others. I have carried those lessons with me throughout my personal life and professional endeavors.
In addition to my mother, I’ve had many people in my life that have mentored me and influenced me to be the person that I am today. From my days as a teenager working at a neighborhood restaurant, to my current position at Comcast, there have been many people along the way who have served as mentors to me and have shown me that being a leader is about more than giving instruction.
Mentoring is about taking people’s potential and guiding them toward reaching their goals, which ultimately leads to us reaching our collective goals. It is also about being an advocate for others. Additionally, it is about being a leader versus a manager. I’ve learned great lessons from family, friends, colleagues, supervisors, and even those whom I have supervised.
My career path began at Bell Atlantic right out of college. I entered their management training program and learned to manage people at call centers. From there, I honed my skills at Peco Energy, a consulting firm called Gartner Group, and for a brief time, a start-up called Software Consulting Group. I then joined Comcast, where I have been for 10 years, doing what I am really passionate about—helping others by connecting how a business can positively impact a person’s experience. I have gained much knowledge from these experiences, including learning the value of negotiation skills, how to find common ground, the ability to think systematically and how to coach and develop others.
I also overcame some hurdles. I realized that leadership is hard work and is never easy when you work in a people-centric environment. I also experienced challenges in some instances of not being taken seriously by others because I am a woman and a person of color. But my perspective was always positive, looking for the lesson in each situation.
I have so much that I want to do in my life. And my advice to young women is to be persistent while leaning on the wise council of mentors. They can act as a strong support system and can help move you toward reaching your fullest potential.