I grew up as a tomboy competing in football, basketball and baseball with the guys. Early on, I learned about the importance of a team, that each teammate had a responsibility and that someone called the plays. If a team member wasn’t doing their best, the team suffered. Leadership works the same way! Being responsible for my actions, earning respect, leading by example and being a team player are core values that have guided my career.
One of my primary and most enjoyable roles is to coach, mentor, and develop our future leaders. When I mentor our talented men and women, I challenge them to be their best and to:
- Work hard. Be curious, ask questions and learn, and listen to ideas from others as there is always an alternative path. Read, read, read.
- Collaborate. It’s about working together and communicating; you cannot accomplish great things alone.
- Network. Expand your contacts and become known by people throughout the organization; bubble your brand; try new roles; take a few risks and move out of your comfort zone.
- Have fun at work. Show your sense of humor; laugh out loud and let people see your human side.
- Exercise and stay fit. Schedule three or four days per week to work out and give yourself an opportunity to burn off stress and increase your energy.
- Do what you say. Your word is your reputation. If you say it, make sure you do it. Be authentic.
- Put integrity above all else. As a leader, you are the face of your corporation; communicate honestly and act with integrity: There’s no right way to do the wrong thing.
At the end of the day, we live with and are accountable to ourselves. Feeling a sense of accomplishment for a job well done, helping others to grow, and being proud of the legacy we leave behind are priceless!