A Tribute To Our When She Speaks Panelists
To launch our series, we noted that our speakers came from a wide breadth of experience, knowledge, and backgrounds, but we thought long and hard about the qualities and traits of all our leaders, and have come up with top ten qualities, with quotes from some of our favorite speakers.
1. Wisdom gained from experience
Each of our speakers had enough successes to rise the corporate ladder, and enough lessons learned to better understand themselves, and be resourceful and resilient in working with people and projects to generate momentum.
No matter how dramatic and intense things get, remember that it’s always about the people and knowing yourself and your company well enough to best serve the people. Genevieve Haldeman, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Symantec.
2. Grounded resiliency and perspective
Each of our speakers have this core strength and power and resiliency which made them vibrant and dynamic. You don’t need to see them in action to know that they have accomplished much, and will put 100% of their energies into making that next milestone.
When the world is falling apart and everyone wants a piece of you, I stay centered on what’s really important, and what needs to be done, sifting through the drama. Joan Banich, Collaboration Strategist, Brand Strategy, Cisco
3. Continuous Search for Self-Improvement
Leaders generate energy and momentum for people, projects and companies. They are always searching, always reaching, always raising the bar, for themselves and for those around them. This value is core to their being.
I respect and nurture the part of me that wants to be challenged and stimulated, and listen to the part of me that feels uncomfortable. Embracing this discomfort is critical to success in a fast-paced technology company that’s pushing the limits, and ever-innovating. Adriane McFetridge, Director, CQES Operations, PayPal
4. Skills and Thinking Across Industries, Roles and Companies
The last downturn has created some permanent changes in the way business is run, and what it takes to be successful. It’s no longer about going deep and staying focused. It will also be about how to transfer skills and knowledge and thinking beyond what you do today, in what role, for which company, in which industry. It will be about transferring skills and knowledge and connections as convergence takes place at many levels.
During this time of great change, what will set companies apart are its people and their ability to think outside the box, re-inventing themselves real time to fit the needs of the company and the market. Nancy Long, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hitachi Data Systems Corp.
5. Open, Clear and Succinct Communications Done with Candor
The more things change, the more they stay the same. In this new business era, it is so much more important to set aside petty bickering and political maneuverings and aim for open, clear, succinct, candid communications, especially when the stakes are high.
Take the time to strategize what you communicate to whom, factoring in feelings, relationships, objectives and focusing on the desired end results, especially if you have something difficult to say. Julie Criscenti Heck, Director, Global Partner Marketing, VMware
6. Out of the Box Strategic Thinking
The companies who succeed will be those who find a new way to solve an existing or new problem, and the leaders in those companies will grow more leaders and partners and alliances that reward out-of-the-box strategic thinking.
Dare to dream. Get outside the box, the box we call our job, the walls of our office, the company we work for. Only then can we truly reach our potential, the life we dream of in a world we share. See you on the outside! Sheryl Chamberlain, Senior Director, EMC Technology Alliances
7. Cultivate a Supportive Network
As strong women (and men), we are used to being independent and regularly do the impossible. But the people who are most successful at doing this are the ones who have that supportive network of people who can offload them and support them, so they can continue achieving the impossible.
Women in technology companies must constantly remind themselves to put themselves higher up the totem pole, above the cat, for example! And surrounding yourself with a supportive network of people: family, team, colleagues, partners, etc., will help us as leaders make the right choices that shape both corporate culture and our social fabric. Phyllis Steward Pires, Director Community Experience and Learning and Talent Management lead, SAP Labs North America
8. Choose Integrity
If you are ever at a crossroads and don’t the path of integrity, it is only a matter of time that you regret the decision, and have to work to fix it. If you feel hollow inside, even when life should be excellent, ask if an integrity issue has compromised your integrity and passion. If so, work to correct it.
Communicate your values and priorities clearly and act on them consistently. Be outspoken and make a stand to work with your team and organization to align actions with values. Susan Mernit, Senior Director Personals Products, Yahoo
If you want to be effective in business and with relationships, always look from the perspective of the person you want to connect with: your customer, your boss, your spouse, your partner, your kid . . . everyone. Thinking from their perspective will help you build successful relationships AND achieved shared goals.
Business is a team sport – knowing the motivations and objectives of all your stakeholders will help you drive strategic results for your team and your organization. Barbara Massa, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, McAfee
10. Generosity of Spirit and Willingness to Share
There are two kinds of people: those who think that it’s a world of abundance, and sharing information, knowledge, and connections benefit all, and those who think that it’s a world of scarcity, and the more YOU get, the less I have. Each of our speakers have been more from one mindset than the other.
Innovation happens when you bring diverse, brilliant people together and facilitate connections and conversations. Then sharing these conversations and further engaging more brilliant, passionate, diverse people, which stimulates more sharing and thinking and new ideas. Nina Bhatti, Principal Scientist, HP Labs
The quotes above are excerpts from our upcoming e-book 101 Truths About Leading From Within: Wisdom From FountainBlue’s When She Speaks Panelists
FountainBlue is honoring our fifth birthday by celebrating the wisdom gained and shared by our speakers from our When She Speaks series, which was launched in May 2006. We have encapsulated their remarks and contributions and compiled them into 101 truths, with overarching themes, and ten specific ideas and suggestions for each one. We explain the concept or idea, then quote one of our speakers as they eloquently express the concept. Your comments are welcome. E-mail us at email@example.com.