This week, we present a special edition of Wednesdays for Women for International Women’s Day, where we shine a light on some of the best advice some of our female leaders have received from their mentors through the years.
If you want a seat at the table, earn it but then use it unapologetically. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Most importantly, always be yourself – in EVERY interaction. Authenticity leads to trust and nothing can be achieved without trust. Lastly, there isn’t one way to describe ‘all women; every single one of us is different and therefore there is no one rule or guidance to fit all. Find YOUR way and you will succeed.
Michelle Eisenberg, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel
Always find out why. Don’t always jump to a conclusion, recommendation or answer without having a full understanding of what you are trying to solve and why.
Danielle Manning, Vice President, Professional Services
Always come to a discussion prepared with inputs, ideas, suggestions or proposed solutions. Don’t just say you are ‘concerned’ or ‘worried’ or drop a problem on someone else to solve – come with answers.
Rachel Scott, Group Vice President, Quote to Cash-Revenue Operations & Compliance
Only submit work that you can stand by, and which you can be proud of.
Yvonne Kong, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel
Go after the opportunity. Do not wait for it to come to you. Raise your hand, ask for the challenge, be tenacious.
Paula Natoli, Group Vice President, Product Management
Go hard and don’t fear failure. It is easy to wait until all the pieces of the puzzle are in place to ensure success. My mentor cautioned me to take educated and accelerated risks when approaching problems. Eighty percent is good enough to move the needle forward and there is always time for corrections. It was somewhat freeing, and a completely different philosophy for me, but one that has helped me to move at much quicker pace to drive results.
JoAnn Martin, Vice President, Retail Industry Strategy
I have a few pieces of advice that I live by: 1) If you get hit by something, what defines you as a leader is how quickly you get up; clearly learning from your failures but getting up fast and move forward, and 2) don’t take things personally, it is only business.
Mette Krogh, Vice President, APAC/EMEA Marketing
My Aunt Mary gave me some advice when I got my first job as an intern. She said, “The company is giving you a chance, if you want to make something of yourself, now is the time to start. So, work hard, listen, and learn.” Then she added, “And don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because there might not be a tomorrow to prove yourself. It is up to you and no one else.”
Anna Cruz, Vice President, Human Resources
Only worry about the things you can control and change. In a deal setting where there is pressure and can be confrontation, remember if someone is difficult to deal with, that it’s never about you.
Vicky Marco, Global Accounts Director, Sales
Have the courage to stay true to your principles. I also enjoy this quote from Lou Holtz which resonated with my leadership style. “I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can and always show people you care.”
Kathy Stanley, Vice President, Education Services
I was reminded early in my career that the definition of work-life balance is very personal. Decide what’s important and navigate around those; your lifestyle, interests and passions are unique to you and you should always be true to those and ignore what everyone’s definition is. I have also lived by the mantra of control what you can control. If you let yourself be overwhelmed by the things outside your control you will waste important energy. Maintain focus on things you can influence.
Nathalie Carruthers, Executive Vice President and Chief HR Officer
Best advice I have received is to have a voice. In other words ‘lean in’. This advice takes confidence. Have confidence in yourself, ability and knowledge. Don’t silence yourself because someone else had a louder opinion. Your thoughts matter.
Haley Morse, Vice President, Services Sales, Retail
Growing up, my parents always said, “give me something hard to do,” which means have an open mind to take on new challenges with a positive attitude. I firmly believe I am where I am today because they raised me to tackle anything thrown my way with determination and a ‘bring it on’ attitude. I might not be the best person suited for the job or know all the answers, but my parents taught me to always go for it (especially the hard stuff), try new things, and be ready to learn.
Arlyn Knox, Vice President, Marketing, Americas Demand Generation
My long-time mentor taught me the importance of empathy and teamwork. Regarding empathy, she told me to think before you react, don’t burn bridges and ask yourself: ‘What good can come from … sending that direct email (for example)’ before you do it. Regarding teamwork, she told me that a great manager promotes the team and develops them to become the next leaders. It is not just ‘what’ you get done, but ‘how’ you get it done.
Dawn Heep, Vice President, Finance
I have three pieces of advice I’ve received and live by. Be brave and not perfect – try out new things and not worry about failure. Striving for perfection will slow you down. Be self-compassionate. Women are compassionate towards everyone around them but very critical of themselves. Be self-compassionate and give yourself credit for all the things you do and forgive yourself for all the failures/ mistakes. Learn to love yourself. Don’t apologize while asking for help. Seek help where you need it.
Somya John, Vice President, Human Resources