FountainBlue’s July 15 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership in SF event was on the topic of Agility: The Key to a Successful Career. Below are notes from the conversation.
We were fortunate to have such a dynamic panel of women leaders representing disparate roles and companies. Each panelist had a compelling perspective, a poignant voice, and each authentically, candidly and generously shared their journey and their learnings. They had the following in common:
- They all started out with something small, which grew as they succeeded at each opportunity. Sometimes that led into deeper responsibility in similar roles, and sometimes to something different altogether.
- They got noticed for their abilities by those who mattered, and these people were able to craft opportunities for them which were able to further stretch them, and the organization as well.
- They fearlessly embraced the unknowns as they strove to become fully realized beings. They plowed ahead despite the fear. Their go-for-it mentality inspires us all.
- They know their priorities and their values and don’t compromise on them.
- They know their strengths and select opportunities which allow them to lead with their strong suit(s).
- They insist on always growing and learning – for themselves and for those around them.
- They make sure that they add value wherever they’re working, whatever their job description.
- They are passionate about what they do and consistently stretch themselves and others on how it’s done.
- They are curious and open-minded about the perspectives of those not-like-themselves.
Below is advice that they shared with us regarding embracing opportunities to advance and realize your professional potential.
- They wisely touted the usefulness of a full and broad network which helps gain both access and perspective. But a network is also a two-way street, and they generously reach out, give back, mentor and support others in their network as well.
- They repeatedly mentioned that we must all know what our brand is – what we do for whom and why we are passionate about doing so. Being cognizant of your brand and proactively reaching for what’s next can help you transcend from one job to another, from one role to another, from one industry to another.
- Be aware of what you’re looking for, and be specific about what you’re looking for, so that others around you can help you realize that vision.
- Wherever you are is where you are meant to be, unless you decide it no longer is. Then it’s on you to do something about it.
- The best lessons in life are often the hardest lessons. Learning from these tough lessons will make you more agile, more resilient, more effective.
- Choose opportunities and lessons which would expand your knowledge and perspective. Hiring and working with people not-like-you is a good way to do so, as is traveling to places before unknown.
- Walk a mile in the shoes of others so that you can support them in their journey as well. With that said, watch your back and don’t succumb to the manipulative games of self-serving others.
- Work hard, do good work, work your brand, and seize the opportunities that present themselves to you. Being prepared helps set yourself up for receiving lucky opportunities and having courage helps you to open the door when someone or something’s knocking!
Below is advice for those looking at what’s next for themselves career-wise.
- When you’re looking for what’s next for yourself career wise, reach for what you’re looking for and make the case on why you are the best candidate for the role.
- Ask for help from others – nobody is ever alone, unless they elect to be that way, or allow themselves to think that way.
- Be positive, always gravitate to something rather than running away from something!
- Stare down the worst fears. Break it down so that you understand the fear, and let others help you gain a perspective beyond the fear.
- Compromise on the little things (it might be title, salary, corner office etc.,) so that you can reach for the things that really matter to you (impact, passion, result, growing something from nothing, independence).
- Sometimes career agility must take place from the employer side. Be creative in finding ways to keep top talent engaged and present.
- As you’re hiring, consider the skill side (what someone can do) and the style side (how they get things done). Training on skills is easier than training on passion and coachability.
Our dynamic and amazing panelists are challenging us to to be career-agile, to reach high to be all you can be, first by knowing yourself, then by constantly reaching and growing yourself and all those around you.
Please join us in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s July 15 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership in SF event, on the topic of Agility: The Key to a Successful Career as well as our gracious hosts at StubHub!
- Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
- Panelist Laura (Danckwerth) Bermudez, Director of Software Development for StubHub Social & President of eBay Women In Technology
- Panelist Melissa Daimler, Head of Learning + Organizational Development, Twitter
- Panelist Carole Gum, VP Global Campaigns, AppDynamics
- Panelist Alexandra Shapiro, SVP, Marketing, PR and Communications, Bigcommerce
- Panelist Miriam Warren, VP of New Markets, Yelp