What advice would I give my younger self?

I often moderate panel discussions and one of my closing questions, I always ask the panelist is “What advice would you give your younger self?” It often draws out great lessons that are very heartfelt and humble. I started to think about what would I say if someone asked me the same question. Here are the top 10 things I would say to my younger self:

1)      Your relationship and people skills are just as valuable as technical skills – sometimes more valuable.

2)      Don’t every be afraid to say what you think. I guarantee that two other people are thinking it and will talk about it over the water cooler but won’t have the nerve to say it out loud. Say what you think. Doesn’t matter how much money someone has, where they graduated from, where they grew up, what you bring to the table is YOU and your unique prospective and that insight is valuable and needs to be heard. Lean In.

3)      Being a good leader is not measured by how management views your skills or what score you get on a company survey.  Real leaders have their dreamers and top performers waiting in the wings. Having people who are waiting to work for you when you have an open position, get reorganized, or just to get the next assignment on your team is leadership. If others will drop everything they are doing because they want to be part of a team led by you, that makes you a true leader.

4)      After you have a baby, you will feel like it is impossible to go back to work but it is possible. It can be extremely hard and rewarding at the same time. Always help women who are in the boat, and be extra sensitive to their mom guilt battle between work and home.

5)      Work is a quality game, not quantity. It’s not how many hours you put in, it’s how well you use the time to maximize your outcome.

6)      Karma is a bitch! Bad eggs (management, coworkers, partners, whatever the role) always have a way of working out. Don’t waste too much time and energy on these people or situations. Things do not always resolve themselves in the allocated time we would like but karma always wins.  Don’t let one bad egg poison the bunch.

7)      Never be afraid to choose your family over work. It’s a decision you will never regret.

8)      Dream Big and just when you think you have your vision for what you want, stretch it and Dream Bigger. One thing I wished I did was dream bigger.

9)      Never forget one of your most valuable assets is your reputation. People and companies come and go, you earn your reputation by being good at what you do, building relationships on trust and doing the right thing by your customers. You build it, you own it and you take it with you anywhere you go.

10)   Work hard but play harder. Now that I think about it, I may not have to tell myself to play harder but it is great motto 😊


Buzzworthy Lesson: Think about what advise you would give your younger self and share it, someone will benefit from your insights.