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Elevating our leadership | “I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.” – Nikola Tesla

Send the elevator back down

Find time to invest in helping those who can do nothing for you at this time. Be a resource, a mentor to those who are coming up behind you in your industry, your education or your market. Think about all of those who have helped you become a woman or a man you are today and make sure you help others as well.

And by help, I don’t mean writing a check, but actually investing time to meet with people, answer questions, provide guidance and clarity and make introductions across your networks when appropriate. Someone at some point has helped you, pass the knowledge and experiences along to those who are coming up.

Why you should schedule time to think

Yeah, I know, it sounds silly as after-all we all think all the time (or at least we should), don’t we? Well, hear me out.

Dedicating time to think that is outside meetings, calls, demos, emails…time that is yours, only yours without any distractions, noise or competing priorities. Try it, find time to think and start writing down your thoughts, ideas, plans and actionable items and you will see how your progress, direction and perception will change and I believe, improve.

People want respect and flexibility

While motivations change with age and experience and are heavily influenced by our upbringing, environment, character, personality and integrity, two of the areas that remain common for us all are respect and flexibility.

Why you should hire the best people

Hire the best people you can attract and afford. Hire those you can learn from, those who will motivate and inspire you to be better yourself, those who will help you elevate the entire team, together.

How to motivate employees

How to motivate employees? In short, flexibility. People are motivated by different things based on their character, integrity, priorities, age…and many other factors.

To some it is time in the office; to others it is a corner office and a title; or it could be money (salary and bonuses)…and the list is nearly endless. Find out what are cultural and organizational norms, standards and expectations as well as what does each person need to be valued and performing according to your standards and look for ways to provide them (if you agree that is).

Staying in your “swim lanes”

In order for us to continue to grow, learn, improve and advance, we need to be mindful of our areas for potential improvement. For me, one of them is certainly not overextending myself and entering “swim lanes” of others.

While I will always continue to ask questions and provide ideas and suggestions, it is important to let things go when the other side may not be as receptive or as welcoming of this “proposed” partnership and collaboration.

In many respects, this is a behavior of a CEO, and I am not one just yet. 😉

Questionable career choices

Know your pitch and don’t lie to your audience, whether they are prospective or current clients.

By the way, this exchange took place in January of 2020 at my previous university in Jersey City, NJ.

Focus on your customers, not your competition

While there is no embarrassment in learning from those who are better than you or further along on a particular journey, one should not spend their time, effort, energy and resources on their competition, but should rather get as close as possible to their customers.

Answers to all of your troubles, problems and tribulations lie within your customers. Ask them what they are looking for, what they need and what your products or services may be lacking today. Furthermore, be mindful as to how you define who your customers are (or could be) as not everyone is meant to be your customer.

Chief Information Officer (CIO) and other “chiefs”

This segmentation is more prevalent across technology then in any of the other areas. In Finance there’s generally a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who leads everything; in Marketing, that position is a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and so on. Yet, across tech and innovation, we have other positions of consideration to name a few…

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Chief Innovation Officer
Chief Digital Officer
Chief Data Officer

Here are my thoughts on how do they all fit and align for the growth and success of their organizations and their customers.

Buzzwords: innovation and transformation

Two of my “favorite” buzzwords in recent months and even years are innovation and transformation. The reason for that is that they are both complementary and generally the right area organizations should focus their attention, time and resources, yet most of them will NOT do what it takes to transform their businesses and innovate along the way.

These changes take time, effort and energy and disrupt the comfort and the way we have always done things and most people are after all creatures of habits.