Monday, January 10, 2011

Emerging Women Leaders share their Leadership Resolutions for 2011

What is your New Year’s Leadership Resolution for 2011?

Throughout 2010, I was honored to meet and work with hundreds of outstanding women who were proactively taking steps to advance their careers. Of those, a handful stood out and I invited them to share their greatest wins of the past year, and their Leadership Resolutions for the year ahead.

Daska P. Babcock
Litigation Associate with AlvaradoSmith

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
Won a $16.6 million judgment in U.S. District Court for a Latin American government.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
Developing a client base with a focus on cross-border business litigation.

Sarah Dybevik
Product Manager

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
During 2010, I set aside time during the work week to Innovate. This allowed me time to think outside the box and test new strategies which was something that often got lost in the midst of all the other daily tasks. Implementing new strategies saved both time (allowing me to be more productive) and money (driving profitability). This year was a success and I plan to continue to do this in future years, as well as ask my team to do the same.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
I was once told by a leader at my company that leadership consists of four things:

  • Creating a Vision
  • Motivating your Team
  • Aligning Resources
  • Eliminating Roadblocks

My ‘New Year's Resolution’ is to develop my team and those around me by using the principles listed above.

Michelle Jowitt
Senior Manager at a Bay Area Enterprise Software Company

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
Taking a two-week, guilt-free vacation without logging on to the computer. After six years at a rapidly growing company, my overdeveloped sense of responsibility to the office is finally in check. Taking a true break from work and giving my family my full, undivided attention was a big step forward in my work/life balance.

Leadership New Years Resolution for 2011
Putting into practice the modern leadership skills described in two books: “Drive” by Daniel Pink and “Multipliers” by Wiseman and McKeown. These books resonate strongly and motivate me to refine my management style.

Tanuja Korlepra
Sr. Software Engineer, Symantec Corporation, Symantec Women Action Network (SWAN), MN co-champion

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
I am an Engineer at Symantec, part of the Customer Focus Team. I work on design and development of product features, and also get to be a Product Advocate. My position gives me opportunities to work with customers on deployment of those features in their data centers. Over the last year, I have resolved several customer product issues, conducted product training and worked on Proofs of Concept (POC). I believe these were all equally rewarding. However, one POC in particular stands out for me as the greatest career achievement or win in 2010. I was asked to work on a very critical POC effort for a new customer that was using a competitor’s product. I successfully worked with a team of Engineers, Network Administrators, Managers and Sales, over a period of 3 weeks and did a very compelling presentation and product demo that resulted in a deal worth $1.5M for my company. I love my job and that was a pretty good win too!

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
Similarly to others, I get into the resolution spirit this time of year. My resolution this year is to lead projects. Being an individual technical contributor, I don’t have people and teams reporting directly to me. I do however, manage and lead project efforts. One of my goals this year is to get better at project management. One of my mentors said that life, and everything in life is a project. Therefore, I believe life calls for good project management skills. It is the essential art and science of getting things done and is a very important skill to have . Being influential, efficient, a good team player, delegator, communicator, and technically and professionally adept are on my mind for 2011.

Jacobia Solomon
Senior Manager, Newell Rubbermaid, Inc.

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
Wow, this is a toss- up. I will share two of my greatest achievements for 2010. I successfully led the Financial Supply Chain Management (SAP) implementation (system, processes, people). This was a $12 MM savings opportunity. The other achievement was putting together Newell Rubbermaid’s first Women’s Leadership Conference. This was a great undertaking of hosting over 150 women nationally, with a focus around building your brand. We received such great feedback from participants that we are presently planning next year’s event.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011

Practice, Practice, Practice - getting into better shape as a leader. Deliberate practice, as the phrase implies, is about intentionally engaging in an activity that will improve how we execute and how we lead. The best leaders are the best learners. They are curious about what is going on around them, always seeking to better understand how things work, how they are leading, and how they can improve their own behavior and the functioning of the organizations.

Tamara Wesley
Engineering Manager

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
My greatest career achievement was exceeding the expectations of my new manager, team, and business unit . This is particularly significant because I did not meet the grade level requirements for the new management position. However, I took a risk and applied. My technical ability coupled with my strong interpersonal skills landed me the job as Engineering Manager.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
My primary Leadership New Year’s Resolution is to grow leaders around me. I am committed to encouraging my team to push beyond their comfort zones and use their strengths to achieve their professional best.

Jo Miller is CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. Through leadership workshops, coaching programs and webinars, Jo helps women create their roadmap into leadership positions in business.

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