I really enjoyed the last two episodes because they opened my eyes to additional career paths that are meaningful and have an element of responsibility to our communities.
Drena’s story makes me feel like I am getting something right in terms of leadership. Fascinated that STEM careers can include things like makeup counters which I do spend time at from time to time. So many areas to talk about, but I’ll focus on these areas: Mentoring, Leadership, Belief.
One reason Drena was successful in her career was because she actively seeks mentors and sponsors strategically along her path. As she looked to grow in an area or skill, she would look to a leader in that space to sponsor or educate her in the skills she needed.
I loved how she discussed how her career was mostly influencing others’ behaviors. She discussed how influencing is basically done through storytelling and listening for pain points or problems that can be solved. Communication is key to the success of a business. The better we can communicate with others, the better our workforce becomes.
I believe her leadership style aligns with mine. I am also very focused on continuous learning. I call it continuous improvement, but I see the only way to improve is to learn from our failures and successes. She also asks people to stretch. I am always pushing my team outside their comfort zone while focusing on building strengths.
“Tackling today’s challenges” – I make sure my team is involved in the strategy of our company and consistently check in with them to make sure they are working on something they are passionate about. I believe we are all more driven when we feel we are making an impact on something we care about in our core being.
This was probably my favorite quote Drena stated: “As a leader, we must trust our own voice and opinion and stop undervaluing it or playing small.” I still struggle with this, but I am improving. I am thankful to Drena for sharing her challenges so I feel less alone in those feelings. Thank you, Drena!
I also wanted to highlight the importance of being bold and having the courage to (like Drena says) “Make the Ask.” Whether you are trying to climb the ladder, obtain hands-on experience, just get an Ally! Go ahead and ask for it.