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 3 – Don’t take yourself, and work, too seriously – keep your priorities in check

7. Maintain your sense of humor

Anger makes you appear old, ugly, and mean-spirited.

Laughter keeps you young and healthy, and makes other people want to be around you.

Over the course of your career, there will be many things that upset you but if you find humor in the situation, you can diffuse the negative impact of your anger.

Use humor to cope with everyday stresses.

8. Be very clear about your priorities

Have something other than work that truly matters to you. It could be community, faith, family, friends, health and wellness, sports, travel, anything really. Just make sure you know what it is.

Decide what aspects of your life are non-negotiable. Make the ground rules very clear.

For example, I was not willing to be away from my husband and children for more than 7 days. So, if my work required me to do that, I arranged for my family to be with me.

Once you’ve set your own ground rules, live with your choices. And, understand that every choice has a consequence.

9. Strive for work-life integration

We hear a lot about “work-life or career-life balance”.  I personally don’t like this term as it implies that your career and life are two separate and distinct aspects of your life competing for your time.

It also implies that it is possible to balance the two.

To me, a better term is “work-life integration” as it suggests that work and life are intricately interconnected.

I believe you can achieve your career and personal goals but perhaps not all at the same time.

Life’s demands require trade-offs – it’s not black and white or all or nothing but different shades of grey.

At different stages of your life, you will have different priorities and that’s perfectly okay.


Read Lessons Learned, part 1

Read Lessons Learned, part 2

Read Lessons Learned, part 4


Tags: Board Director, Corporate Director, Female Board Director, Maryann Bruce


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