I went to the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 18th Annual Women’s Conference last week and wanted to share some nuggets from an outstanding session called “Stories from the Top” with you. The panel was comprised of Jennifer Sampson, President & CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Linda Cubero, Bradley-Morris LLC, and Duy-Loan Le, Sr. Fellow at Texas Instruments – all fantastic women.
Ms. Cubero was a Captain in the Air Force and now is an Account Representative connecting the top 10% returning military leaders to jobs in the U.S. through Bradley-Morris LLC, a woman-owned business.
Ms. Le started her life in Vietnam and escaped to the US when she was a child with her mother and 8 of her siblings. She went from not knowing any English to graduating as valedictorian of her high school at the age of 16 and never looked back. She is the first Asian and first woman to be elected to the prestigious level of Texas Instruments Senior Fellow.
Lessons learned (this is an amalgamation of all three women’s answers):
1. Learn how to do the job well and don’t feel entitled to jump to the next level before you’ve mastered this one
2. Seek out demanding, high-visibility roles – seek out the tough projects no one else wants
3. Don’t spend 100% of your time doing what is in your job description – add other problems to solve and you’ll 1) sharpen your knowledge, 2) increase your business & people skills, and 3) you’ll find that it’s not only important who you know, but who you know that knows you – so you must execute excellence and not mediocrity!
4. Believe you will be successful – be bold, confident, charming, humble – dream big; don’t be afraid to fail – take risks
5. Your career, family & service are not separate parts of your life – when you can connect them, you can create incredible synergy
6. Make it easy for the people growing behind you to ask you for help
7. Know your principles/values and tie your life decisions to them – be true to who you are
8. Embrace obstacles as opportunities – reframe so that you can create opportunities rather than stay a victim – you can transform your playing field by seeing obstacles as opportunities (Watch Cory Booker’s 2012 Stanford Commencement speech – he says to “embrace discomfort to embrace the possible”)
9. Learn to say no
10. It is vital that you excel in both written and verbal communication
11. How do you move beyond complacency? 5 F’s: Faith, Family, Friends, Finances, and Fitness
What tips for success have you learned along the way?