Be a Venture Capitalist
Having been laid off twice in my career, I soon realized that I had to take charge. I had to change my thinking from an “cubicle mindset” to a “enterprise mindset.”
- Limited to assigned tasks
- They should
- Risk averse
- Limited point of view
- Does only what’s expected
- Waits for recognition
- Assigns blame
- Changes jobs
- Defined by other’s ideas of success
- Explores potential
- Always growing
- What am I worth?
- Aligned with department and company
- Challenges self
- Invests in self
- Takes responsibility
- Changes attitudes/ behaviors
- Defines success
Think like a venture capitalist. Treat your career like a business.
Over the course of my career serving Corporate America, I have held senior management and executive positions at technology companies including Hayes Microcomputer Products, Scientific-Atlanta, and Cisco. I’ve directed corporate communications, branding, public relations, web and social networking strategies, trade shows and events, and marketing communications worldwide. In these roles, I have traveled all over the world, and made lifelong friends.
I had no instruction books, no mentors, and no coaches. I was often the only woman in the room or on the management team. My philosophy, adapted from my Southern roots and style, was simple. If the gentlemen in my field wanted to hold the door open for me, I would accept graciously. If they didn’t, I’d open it myself.
I chose to make my own way – self-taught and on-the-job. I often opened my own career doors by taking stretch assignments and exceeding expectations. I also began opening doors for others.
My values of consideration, respect and honesty got me through each career challenge. I set up boundaries and guardrails to protect me – and to protect my colleagues and team.
Becoming my passion through true leadership
When Cisco gave me the opportunity for early retirement in 2009 and I took it, I also found myself going through a divorce. Had my career story been more predictable, this big transition might have knocked me down. But behind the core values that tied my work together across jobs, companies, and travel across the world was a passion for what I do – no matter what the circumstances - that made the difficult transition possible.
"True leadership is about motivating yourself AND others."
I knew I had choices. And, I believe that stepping outside of yourself and giving yourself to what pulls you is what causes passion to blossom. It takes courage. It takes a willingness to look in the rearview mirror at the things you did right – and the things you’d change. It takes the knowledge that you have choice in the matter.
My passion is about giving and empowering others to lead the life and career they want. That passion is fully realized in my work as a career strategist and leadership coach.
You’re Already a Success
Well before this new direction in my life, I wrote a powerful little book for my niece entitled You’re Already a Success: Thoughts on Beginning Your Career, which was published in five different languages. And as I work with people and teams to leverage their natural success and potential to achieve their maximum ROI, I start there. You truly are already a success because you – like every human – has potential. People have a capacity to do amazing things. Your success is already built-in. You just have to learn to leverage it.