A very Happy Women’s day to all. As I sat down to write this short piece, I realise that the attributes that have helped me are attributes where typically women excel and have a comparative advantage.
The first attribute is that you should never believe that you have “made it to the top”. There is always more room to grow and tons to learn. Humility is an eye-opener.
Define and deepen the meaning of success for yourself. Early in one’s career it is all about having a track record better than the rest, partnering with a top-notch firm or general partner, doing that one-off amazing deal that becomes a trendsetter in the market. As you grow in your career, the sweetest success is when people who work with you succeed far beyond what they may have otherwise and when successful people want to work with you.
There is no alternative to working hard. Delegating and empowering others is one way to work smarter while you work hard.
Have convictions and don’t be afraid to air them and work towards them. There is a risk that you may fail; that is okay as long as you pick yourself up and do even better.
Don’t put yourself down. Look at the glass half empty that can be filled. Realise potential in yourself and others around you.
Always look for the next disruption. Speak to and understand today’s fringe elements in an industry who could be tomorrow’s “pioneers”.
Have a sense of humour. It is the best way to get perspective.
Make work fun. Build trust and put people at ease. Share your vulnerabilities as much as you do your strengths.
Collaborate to create. There is nothing more true than the old adage that a bunch of brains is better than one. It is also more fun.
Be daring and willing to take risks. Not blindly, but with eyes wide open.
Think through details and consequences before you embark on a task. Speak to experts in the field. Always be open to listen to an opinion very different from your own. Learn to connect to those very different from you. This is mind-expanding.
You don’t have to be manly to succeed. Be who you are and believe in yourself.
Do your homework and know your stuff.
Smell the roses. Do things that enlighten your mind, heart and soul.
Give back in abundance to family and friends, the company, your colleagues and those who watched you grow. Give back to the community.
Most important – support other women. Many are going through what we have been through. Give generously of your time. Be a role model and live by example. There is no greater joy.
Thank you and Happy Women’s Day.
Anita Marangoly George is executive vice president for growth markets at Canadian pension fund CDPQ.
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