It takes courage to believe that you are enough. As a young professional I spent so much time listening to my inner critic, working hard to fill self-perceived gaps in my competency set. I believed that hard work alone would allow me to achieve my goals. My curiosity and passion for learning led me to invest in education and seek out mentorship opportunities that gave me the tools to succeed, but that success was never truly satisfying until I acknowledged my differences as an individual and celebrated my natural strengths. I am more successful and far happier when I leverage those core talents, rather than focusing on what I am not.
It is more than hard work, it’s worth ethic.
Believing that I am enough does not lead to complacency, quite the opposite. I continue to challenge myself to achieve my goals. Empowered by the knowledge of who I am, I can develop partnerships with the right people—those with complementary strengths—to grow. Building a strong team means that I must be secure enough to work with people who can do some things better than I can, learn from them, develop them, and give them opportunities to grow into strong leaders.
Diversity of thought creates innovation. Teams comprised of individuals with different strengths and empowered voices can develop creative solutions to complicated financial problems. I have benefited from working on such high-performing teams at CoBank.
Broad-based, sustained success is achieved by a focused team of diverse individuals, providing their own unique skillset to create value for the bank’s customers and partners. It involves teamwork, but it also requires confidence and self-compassion to be fully engaged and take risks. It takes worth ethic.
How has education affected your career?
My liberal arts education taught me to learn and appreciate the power of great ideas. My MBA taught me to think in numbers and develop a business plan.
What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field?
Intellectual curiosity affords me with a constant desire to learn about, and stay current with, the economic and industry issues impacting customers. Thoughtful implementation provides me with an ability to listen to the issues, ask the correct questions, and invest the necessary time to craft complete solutions.
Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do?
There are several key executives at CoBank that have taught me about credit, negotiation, and leadership. There are teachers and coaches who have developed my core skills and given me faith in myself. Love recharges me and my family gives me strength.