Before and during my tenure as a Fortune 100 Division President and CEO, and independent board director, I have lived through and collected many career and life lessons. I wanted to take some time to write them down because they might be of help for women who are yet to embark or have just started on their adventures.

I have developed 13 lessons . . . and will share them in a series of 4 episodes.

I’m also looking forward to learning from you as well, lessons that you would like to share, so please leave me a comment so we can exchange experiences.

EPISODE 2 – Stay true to who you are and embrace others

4. Bring all of you – including your emotions – to work

I was frequently told that my emotions were a liability at work and made me look weak.

After years of experience, I now believe that if you want to be truly successful, you need to forget the old stereotypes and allow yourself to be vulnerable, especially at work.

Give yourself permission to laugh, cry, and get angry. Your vulnerability will make you more real and help you connect with those around you at a deeper level.

5. Ask for help

I once heard that “A dream is a dream until you tell someone and then it’s an aspiration”.

How will family, friends and colleagues know what you want unless you tell them and ask for their help to make it happen?

Create an “advisory board” or “team of trusted advisors” of people you can surround yourself with. People you trust implicitly, whom you can go to for advice and guidance, who can provide you with leading practices, and whom you can bounce ideas off.

The acronym TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More; so when you ask for help, everyone will benefit from that relationship.  

6. Have at least one female best friend

Always have at least one woman with whom you can truly be yourself – warts and all.

She will ask you questions, help enhance your understanding of what you’re really feeling and tell you the unvarnished truth without criticism and judgement.

In turn, be that type of friend to another women.

These relationships will make you more self-aware. Self-awareness has been proven to be a critical quality of successful leaders.

Read Lessons Learned, part 1

Read Lessons Learned, part 3

Read Lessons Learned, part 4


Maryann Bruce – Signitt
The Signitt Network
Tags: Board Director, Corporate Director, Female Board Director, Maryann Bruce

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