Last Wednesday, Lizzy Ryan (VP/Director, Media) was part of a panel discussion on women in leadership, put on by SF big and mBolden (women in wireless). She participated in the panel with two other leaders: Rachael Haley, Global Connections Strategy Lead at AirbnB and Alyssa Merwin, VP, Sales Solutions Americas at LinkedIn. The panelists discussed topics including what it takes to get to a leadership position and how women can have a positive impact once they get there.
Here are 5 key takeaways from the discussion:
1. Mentorship is key to success. It can come from unexpected places, and does not have to be your boss or someone directly above you. Take your time finding a mentor and make sure to get to know that person before jumping in and asking them to mentor you. Being a mentor is not an easy task -- it is time consuming. Make sure your mentor has the bandwidth and head space to give you what you need. Getting a life/business coach is a good way to find mentorship and can help with jumpstarting your career if you feel "stuck".
2. There is no such thing as work life balance. Life is work and work is life. Focus on finding a job that you are fulfilled by so you don't mind when you have to put in extra hours.
3. Failures can be your best assets. Failing hard means learning fast. Once you get to a place in your life where you can accept responsibility for your action/reaction, you can turn your failures into the driving force behind your future successes.
4. Energy is everything. The only thing we can really control every time we walk into a meeting is our energy. We have the power to set the tone of the room with positive, calming energy, which can lead to prosperous interactions with others.
5. Invest in yourself. There is absolutely no way you will be a good leader, boss, mentor, friend, mother, anything if you're not taking care of yourself and giving yourself the time to have head space each day (even if it's for 5 minutes). Always put yourself first -- it will directly affect your relationships for the better.