My career has enabled me to work with talented people in a variety of organizations, and each position has challenged and stretched me in unique ways. I am also fortunate to have several strong mentors and supporters in my life – with my parents being the earliest and greatest examples – who have consistently modeled qualities that I admire and want to emulate. When I have the opportunity to serve as a mentor or to “pay it forward,” these are the words of advice I offer.
Start with a strong work ethic. You simply can’t fake it. There is no substitute for reliability, responsibility or initiative, and there is also no comparison to the personal satisfaction you feel when you know you’ve earned the results.
Commit and deliver. No matter what role you play in your organization, you can create a reputation for being a consistently strong and reliable contributor. Be willing to commit to high performance goals, and then deliver!
Be courageous and ready. Pursuing larger responsibilities requires courage and belief in your ability to meet the challenge. To prepare yourself, set high personal and professional development goals, and strive to exceed them. When the right opportunities arise, you will have the confidence to meet them head on.
Have resolve and resilience. When I think about qualities that have been tested throughout my career, topping the list would be resolve and resilience. It takes great determination to stay the course during trying times, and a flexible nature to rebound from inevitable setbacks or changes.
Manage your brand. Although the workplace often emphasizes what is accomplished more than how it is accomplished, I believe they are equally important. When I consider leaders that I admire, it is their character – often marked by traits such as integrity, empathy, fairness and diplomacy – that I remember far more than any single work-related achievement. That’s the kind of legacy I want to leave.