1. Define a great leader—what are some traits you think great leaders possess?
A great leader is one that uses empathy and can listen to those around them.
I have learned, the hard way, that when I try to leverage force or aggression to motivate, most likely I will end up with lower quality work, and a bunch of pissed off employees.
I also know now that listening to the ideas of those on my team is imperative.
Sometimes I am busy and I have to remind myself to slow down a bit and listen. I have found when I do that the ideas they present and the collaboration that happens is nothing short of magic.
I like to say that I “get by with a little help from my friends” meaning I can’t do it alone.
2. What are some strategies that can help people achieve a more prominent role in their organizations or businesses?
If you want a promotion you must show your manager that you want it and raise your hand when they are looking for someone to jump in.
I have managed larger teams and while some people wanted promotions, very few asked.
3. What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career that you wish you would have known from the start?
One step in front of the other, burn out is likely earlier in our career if we don’t pace ourselves.
Too often we are racing to solve the puzzle or present a solution in the hopes that we get the accolades.
I learned, again the hard way, that when I rush to be first I am inevitably not thinking through something.
4. How did you balance being a mother and a professional?
I am not sure I do balance it very well. But my kid is forgiving and supportive.
My son, now 14, has tagged along with me on one adventure after another. Lucky for him my job has centered around some pretty interesting topics (entertainment, tourism, aviation, aerospace, augmented reality).
I think it is important to let them see what you are doing. It helps them understand and respect the work you do. And remember to treat their work (school, scouts etc) as important as your own. Just because they are not getting paid and are not adults, does not mean what they do is unimportant.
5. If you could meet anyone famous, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Judge Marilyn Milian – from the People’s Court – dirty little secret I record the show every day and watch it just before bed.