Monday, December 16, 2013

Emerging Leader Success Story: Pragati Rai, Chief Technology Evangelist at PayPal

By Jo Miller

Do you ever wonder what happens to the women that we profile in our Emerging Leader Spotlight? I was browsing LinkedIn last week and stumbled across the profile of Pragati Rai who we featured in June 2012. I was stunned and excited to see her new c-level job title. So naturally, I asked what factors led to her advancement. Here’s what Pragati has been up to.

What factors lead to your advancement into your current role? A lot of hard work went into taking me where I am today. Besides doing my assignments with all my heart, I started doing additional assignments like writing a book on the side. These assignments worked like "stars" on my profile. Finally I started evangelizing what I do and let it be known what I want to accomplish next.

How has your leadership style evolved since taking the role? I believe in people. I believe everyone wants to do their jobs well. But sometimes people get caught up in roles and responsibilities that do not excite them. It is important to find out what excites and motivates a person and what is that s/he wants to achieve. By giving a person an opportunity to thrive (maybe in a different group), we are doing a favor to the person, to ourselves, and to the company.

You attended the Poised for Leadership workshop in March 2012. What impact, if any, did it have on your career?
Poised for Leadership helped sort things out for me. It equipped me with tools and techniques to understand and navigate corporate dynamics. Personally, the most valuable learning from your class was the introduction to the concept of a shadow map – how people are connected and influence each other outside reporting boundaries. Thanks for running these classes; they are very valuable.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ask an Executive: Webinar for emerging women leaders on December 3

Ask an Executive
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Time 1 p.m. Eastern, 12 noon Central, 11 a.m. Mountain, 10 a.m. Pacific USA time, for 1 hour

Is there something you’ve always wanted to ask a leader? This hour-long forum gives you access to the executive perspective without any of the awkwardness. Our panelists will candidly address a wide range of career issues and leadership challenges. Submit your questions for consideration!

Guest speakers: 
Kieth Cockrell, Divestiture Executive at Bank of America
John L. Hall, Senior Vice President, Oracle University

Jo Miller, CEO, Women's Leadership Coaching, Inc.

Already a member? Log-in here.
Corporate packages of 50 memberships are also available.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pay Attention to Office Politics

By Jo Miller

Have you ever wondered if playing the game of office politics is necessary to be successful?

One of the first good books I read on women and leadership was "Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office" by Lois Frankel. Published in 2004, it holds up well. It was in reading this book that I first learned the importance of understanding the "rules of the game."

According to Dr. Frankel, the workplace "has rules, boundaries, winners and losers. Not only is it a game, but the rules of the game change from organization to organization and from department to department within an organization."

Read more on how to navigate the unwritten, unspoken rules of the workplace on the Iowa Women's Leadership Conference blog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Helping Women in Bermuda Reach their Leadership Goals

Poised for Leadership workshop in Bermuda
The Centre for Leadership in Bermuda was formed when five successful business women came together to discus areas where support for women’s leadership in business was lacking.

Rochelle Simons, one of the Centre’s founding members, heard about Jo Miller’s work after researching the topic of women’s leadership development. “It fit nicely with what the Centre for Leadership was about and the content of the course and some of the other work that Jo offers was really interesting, so it fit right in target with our mission,” she said.

Read the Royal Gazette's article about how the Centre for Leadership and Women's Leadership Coaching, Inc. brought the Poised for Leadership workshop to Bermuda.

6 Critical Career Missteps That Put a Lid on Career Advancement

6 Critical Career Missteps
By Jo Miller

It isn’t easy to break out and establish yourself as an up-and-coming leader inside a large corporation. Some days you can feel like the best kept secret in your organization. Your management might have said that if you work hard and do a good job you’ll be recognized but if you’ve tried that, you’ll know that it can bring mixed results at best.

For over fifteen years I have been going into large companies to train emerging women leaders on how to advance into positions of management and leadership. If you are wondering how to become a leader or how to get promoted, here’s my checklist of the top career missteps that could be putting a stop to your career growth. I have included a summary of action steps to take to leap beyond those roadblocks and keep your career moving forward.

Misstep #1: Waiting to be promoted
Action step: Take charge of your career trajectory.

Misstep #2: Allowing others to define your reputation
Action Step: Build your brand as an emerging leader.

Misstep #3: Building a dead-end brand
Action step: Make your brand scalable.

Misstep #4: Working too hard
Action Step: Make your value visible.

Misstep #5: Accepting low-visibility assignments
Action Step: Take on career-defining projects.

Misstep #6: Downplaying your accomplishments
Action Step: Promote your achievements.

Could you identify with any of these? Post a note in the comments section!  Let me know what youve discovered, and what action you’d like to take to move beyond these roadblocks and move ahead in your career.

And watch my free four-part video series on how to build your brand as an emerging leader. I cover the six critical career missteps and the actions to take to move beyond these roadblocks. You don’t have to be the best kept secret in your organization!

From the Article Archive: Learning the Fine Art of Self Promotion

By Jo Miller

Question:What are ways to make my accomplishments visible without being seen as bragging?

Jo Miller answers:
I know far too many women who hold back from promoting their accomplishments, for fear of being seen as someone who brags too much. We’ve all known a colleague who overdid the bragging to the extent that they became a strutting, self-promoting peacock.

Many of the women I speak to, say that their fear of becoming like that person holds them back from self promoting at all — even when appropriate or necessary. If you fall into this category, your finely tuned “B.S. detector” will prevent you from turning into an obnoxious over-promoter. You do need to seek out a healthy level of recognition, because in today’s corporate culture, that’s what gets rewarded.

Many women fall into the trap of thinking that getting recognized at work is like doing well in school, where working hard and getting good grades will guarantee recognition. But when you take this approach in the workplace, you’ll only get buried from view under a pile of work. Worse, your reputation as a “hard worker” will only attract more hard work!

As an example, I spoke to a woman recently who had a reputation at her office as “the fixer.” Every time there was a sticky problem that no one else wanted to deal with, she was called in to fix it. Being somewhat humble, she never bragged or called attention to what she was achieving. After toiling away un-noticed for six years, she realized that she wasn’t building a brand as an achiever or leader or expert. In her own words, she was known only as “the pooper-scooper.”

The solution was to reflect on her recent accomplishments, select those that best positioned her as a leader, then get the word out. Here are the steps she used:

  1. She listed out all of her accomplishments.
  2. From the list, she selected the ones that reinforced the brand she wanted to build. (Leaving out the pooper-scooping!)
  3. She promoted those accomplishments.
And, here are three ways she promoted her accomplishments and ways you can do the same without feeling sleazy.

  • Create a “soundbyte” or concise one-sentence description for each accomplishment. When someone asks, “How are you doing?” don’t just tell them you’re fine; take that opportunity to include a soundbyte:“I’m doing great. I just got nominated for the customer service award!”
  • When a customer or colleague sends an email praising you, forward it on to your leaders. All you need to add to the message is “FYI.”
  • When a significant project or milestone is accomplished, ask to present a report in your staff meeting and to other groups that may benefit from what you’ve learned. Volunteering to present brown bags works well, too. 
For more information on this topic, watch the webinar,  Are You The Invisible Employee? with guest speaker Claire Babinueax-Fontenot.
Members, log in now to view the webinar recording. 
Not a member yet? Join now for immediate access to the webinar.

How to Build Your Brand as an Emerging Leader: Free Four-Part Video Series

Are you the best kept secret in your organization?

Don’t be! In our new free four-part video series, discover:

• The 6 critical career missteps that could be putting a lid on your career advancement.
• How to identify your ideal career niche.
• How to build your brand as an emerging leader.
• How to attract high-profile projects.
• Ways to make your value visible.

Get started now!

What Your Boss Won’t Tell You About How to Become a Leader: 5 Uncommon Tips for Career Advancement

By Jo Miller

If you’ve worked hard, done a good job, and received a positive performance review, then you’ve successfully followed what most good bosses would call a “career development plan”. That’s different, however, from a career advancement plan. To advance you’ll need to do the things that go beyond being merely great – and yes, I know that’s a big “merely” – at your current job.

Last month I explored the webinar topic “Take Charge of Your Career Trajectory” with two of the smartest women I know: Donnell Green, Global Head of Talent Management and Development with Blackrock; and Dr. Caroline Simard, Associate Director of Diversity and Leadership with the Stanford School of Medicine. When these two leaders shared their essential elements for a career advancement plan they each included both common and uncommon tips for moving upward, including some things you’d be unlikely to hear from your manager.

It’s up to you to create your career advancement plan. You can’t wait for permission to become a leader. As one of our previous speakers, Monica Spigner of Lincoln Financial Group once told me, “Make a plan – or someone else will make one for you.”

Donnell and Caroline shared phenomenal advice on growth and promotion, with a thorough look at their career advancement essentials. Here are just a few highlights:

1. Get a good boss
For Donnell, a critical element of taking charge of her career meant building a network of support including coaches, mentors, and sponsors. “Don’t go it alone,” she advised, and give careful consideration to who is in your management chain. Work for people you respect, and get a good boss. I have built great relationships with my bosses and created value for them. Having the support of your manager can make or break a career.”

2. Don’t stand in your own way
Imagine gripping onto something so tightly that you almost squeezed the life out of it. Dont do that to your most important career goals!

Accomplishing those goals can mean adjusting your way of going about it, according to Caroline. “If youre too attached to a very narrow definition of success or a narrow plan for your career, you will ignore amazing opportunities.”

“Keep your eye on the goal, but don’t stand in the way of the end result. Sometimes, that means letting go of some credit or doing a task that youre not particularly interested in. But if its really important to achieving your vision, its absolutely worth doing.”

Speaking of her own career plan, Caroline emphasized the importance of flexibility. “I try to have a plan but its a flexible plan.”

3. Timing is everything
Asking for the things we need, especially when it comes to career advancement, is a hurdle for many women. Fortunately, our speakers shared tips on negotiating for key training or development opportunities.

For Donnell, timing is everything when it comes to these negotiations. “The right conversation held at the wrong time can be harmful, as is failing to be mindful that your boss is in bad mood or the person youre talking is the wrong person. Pay attention to timing and use those instincts for these conversations.”

4. Dont ignore work-life fit
Caroline leads an innovative pilot initiative at Stanford School of Medicine to re-design the work culture in ways that allow faculty to increase their work-life fit. She advised asking yourself not only what is it that you’re trying to accomplish at work, but what your goals are at home, in your personal life, too. “Don’t ignore work-life fit. These two pieces need to go hand-in-hand in everything you do.”

“Work-life fit is about the balance of taking care of yourself” said Donnell, who trained for her first marathon ten years ago. At work, there were times when she pushed herself beyond what she thought she was capable of, which she now credits as a key factor in advancing into the global leadership role she holds today. “Get physically fit and healthy,” she urged our audience. “When you train for a marathon, you build endurance and you build stamina. Its a great analogy for the long haul of leadership and getting to the top.”

5. A sense of humor can advance your career
“Don’t take yourself and others too seriously, said Caroline, adding that “a sense of humor has really carried me through hard times. Its easy to get intimidated by titles and degrees.”

Donnell agrees. “Mind the seriousness and intensity!” she said. “If youre someone that people enjoy being around, youve got a sense of humor, you dont take yourself seriously, youll have followership and that followership will advance your career.

Listen to the entire conversation with Donnell Green and Caroline Simard in the webinar “Take Charge of Your Career Trajectory”.

Members, log in now to view the webinar recording.
Not a member yet? Join now for immediate access to the webinar.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Marieda Freese

“Managing up is the most important concept I’ve learned that has been and will continue to be critical to my career success.

What is the most important thing you have learned that has been critical to your career success?
Managing up is the most important concept I’ve learned that has been and will continue to be critical to my career success. To manage up means to take your career development into your own hands, and it is typically referred to when looking for a mentor. Instead of waiting for an opportunity or a mentor to come to you, you have to go after them.
 Recently, I noticed an effort in our group that could use improvement... I’m very excited to see what kind of a difference I can make.

What key steps did you take to get to the role you are in today?
Recently, I noticed an effort in our group that could use improvement. I suspected we were in danger of missing a deadline, even though the deadline was still two months out. Many factors were contributing to the impending issue, but I knew my background would lend itself well to helping the team get back on track. I decided to manage up and approach my boss about helping out. We met, I pitched my plan, and after a day of thinking about my proposal, he agreed. I am now the lead engineer over the effort, and I’m very excited to see what kind of a difference I can make.

 A solid team whose members have great relationships with each other will be the team that succeeds against all odds.

What is your leadership style?
My leadership style/preference could best be described as team-oriented. The team that plays together stays together. I’m a firm believer that a solid team whose members have great relationships with each other will be the team that succeeds against all odds. When the pressure is high and the workload never seems to end, if you enjoy and respect the people you’re working with, you’ll work hard for them – and vice versa. This kind of dedication to each other isn’t one that is commanded, it’s freely given.  

To help further develop myself and my career, I have been taking steps to get involved with more mentors.

What steps are you currently taking to improve yourself, professionally?
To help further develop myself and my career, I have been taking steps to get involved with more mentors. The Poised for Leadership workshop encourages us not to stop at just one mentor, but to diversify our support network.

My current mentor Dawn reiterated this point by advising me to speak with and be mentored by individuals in various leadership roles, such as Program Manager, Engineering Manager, Project Engineer, Marketing, and Technical Program Manager.

“In life and at work, I tend to avoid or diffuse confrontational situations...after using Jo Miller’s advice, I was comfortable to hold my own on major issues.”

Have you experienced a career or leadership challenge recently that you have overcome?
In life and at work, I tend to avoid or diffuse confrontational situations. For example, if a coworker arrived late to an important meeting or if a decision I made was challenged, I would hear myself say, “Oh, that’s OK, no big deal” or “OK, we don’t have to do this my way, it’s just a suggestion.”  

After the attending the Poised for Leadership workshop, I mentioned this to Jo Miller as something I’d like to overcome. Jo offered, “Watch the leaders in your group.  How do they handle similar situations?” After using this advice, what I saw was an immediate correction, establishing of a boundary, and then moving on. “We need to start on time next time. Let’s move on.” “Hey, no; that’s not what was intended. It needs to be done like this.” 

Jo then advised me to pattern my behavior after my leadership. Practice with a friend, a waiter/waitress”, or (my addition) my husband. I began starting with smaller issues, drawing boundaries over minor things until I was comfortable to hold my own on major issues. 

A leader and closer-network peer of mine at work explained it like this,those who can draw those boundaries and stand up for themselves will earn more respect than the individuals who let themselves become steamrolled.  Turns out, he was right.

From the Article Archive: Five Key People You Need in Your Network

Question: As a program manager, I rely on heavily influencing without authority to get my job done. As part of my development plan, my manager suggested I expand my network among our internal business partners so I can be more influential; however, I don’t want to be seen spending too much time unnecessarily schmoozing. Where should I start?

Jo Miller answers: Wise advice from your manager! Having a network of strong working relationships across your organization can connect you with hidden information, resources, and opportunities. Having a great network makes it easier to get your job done, influence outcomes, and gain buy-in more easily.

If you spend a lot of time building relationships with an agenda, people will be used to seeing you only when you need something from them. This trains them not to look forward to seeing you. My recommendation is to set aside a couple hours per week, to build relationships with people at times when you don’t need anything from them.

To maximize your time while you expand your network, consider starting first with these five key types of people:

1. The Connector
The connector is a true “people person” who knows — and has great relationships with — everyone. They put others at ease. This person loves to opens doors and make introductions. Watch them and learn!

2. The Informational Powerhouse
This person is like a human grapevine. They love to keep a finger on the pulse and stay current on organizational issues. They filter useful information from gossip or noise and know about changes before they occur. Seek them out when you need to know about new trends, ideas, projects, opportunities, and so on, before they become official.

3. The Influencer
The influencer is not necessarily a high-level or high-profile leader, but they have a natural ability to make things happen. They get people on board with ideas and initiatives, gain agreement and collaboration from teams, and they have a voice with senior leadership. Their early support can guarantee the success of your initiatives and their advocacy can get you noticed.

4. The Senior Leader Sponsor
These are your manager’s peers (and those ranked above them) and they have the power to dramatically accelerate your career. Interacting with them frequently can help you align your work effort with your organization’s strategic goals. They have the ability to single you out for recognition and connect you to special projects, task forces and committees, and new opportunities for growth

5. The Mentor
Need I say more?
The mentor is a special category of senior leader sponsor. While most women rely on their mentor to advise them on how to navigate situations at work, consider asking your mentor to give you honest feedback and critique on how you are doing and how you come across.
Many of the senior-level women I coach can trace their career advancement back to a turning point, where a mentor advised them on something they needed to be doing differently.
I often observe men using their mentors differently than women do — they are more proactive about asking their mentor to sponsor them. Consider asking your mentor to actively open doors and connect you with opportunities.
For more information on how to break into leadership, listen to the Emerging Women Leaders Webinar Series.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Top three reasons to attend Poised for Leadership on November 29 in Heathrow, FL (Orlando area).

Are you the best kept secret in your organization? When was the last time you devoted an entire day to your career advancement plan? 
Join Jo Miller, CEO of Women's Leadership Coaching, Inc., for the Poised for Leadership workshop in Heathrow, FL on November 19, 2013. There are only 15 places remaining, so register today.

Poised for Leadership is designed for early-career to mid-level women who want to advance their careers into management or leadership positions.

Why should you consider attending? Here are the top three reasons:
Reason #3: Expand your network by meeting a terrific group of high-energy, high-potential up-and-coming women leaders (who, like yourself, are actively engaged in advancing their careers). 

Reason #2: Find out why women across the US and Canada are giving this workshop rave reviews and consistently rate the facilitation and content at a satisfaction level of over 90%.

Reason #1: De-mystify the career advancement process and discover what it really takes for you to break through into leadership, including how to:

- Build your brand as an emerging leader
- Gain recognition for your accomplishments
- Make your value visible
- Navigate organizational politics with savvy
- Create a strategic network of influence
- Gain access to hidden resources and opportunities
-  Identify and lead high-profile projects
- Utilize your six key sources of influence

So, what are you waiting for? Take a day to invest in yourself and your career advancement by attending Poised For Leadership!

DATE: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:15 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

LOCATION: Symantec Corporation, 801 International Parkway, Heathrow, FL 32746
 $299 per person individual registration, $279 per person when register with a group of three or more.
(If you are an employee of Siemens or Symantec, please use the group registration rate.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Breakout Career Moves: Are you ready for a big leap forward?

By Jo Miller

I’m reminded of the phrase, “mind the gap.”

Many of us know those words as a note of caution, telling us to watch for the empty, potentially treacherous space between station platform and train. But when you think about it, “mind the gap” is also a great metaphor for the responsibility you need to take while journeying from where you are to where you’re going. Your chances of moving forward (and as an emerging leader, upward) increase when you know what that gap is while you’re crossing it.

Our latest webinar shared the insights of two emerging women leaders who made their own breakout career moves to get where they are today. Listening to Nehal Mehta, Director of Quality Assurance at NetApp, and Sara Sperling, Facebook’s Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, it’s easy to see that their approaches differ as much as their roles, but the care and passion they invested in evolving as leaders is a common factor.

Sara had come to Facebook in a learning and development role, and became known for her interest in diversity, even building their first employee resource group. Executives would come to her with diversity-related questions despite her official role and training in a completely different area.

“I was a Math and Economics major,” said Sara, acknowledging that there is “no direct link to that and leading and starting the diversity and inclusion at a company like Facebook. So, as Sheryl Sandberg says in her book, I “leaned in” and I went for it. And here I am.”

Nehal had been laid off during a time of re-organization. When a job showed up for which she had many skills, but not all, she was able to negotiate a consulting role while they searched for another candidate. “It was a win-win because, for them, I could come in with some core skills that they needed to grow the small company while they may have continued to look for this other candidate.” From there, she moved onto her current role at NetApp.
For both women, creating their own opportunities was a necessary step. Nehal views any current job as having a job description, an established path, and emerging leadership needs to show willingness to go further. “You need to do your job well. You need to do it really well… but then see what else you’re interested in and go seek that out.”

Sara agreed. “I really think that people want to wake up excited about where they’re going to go for most of the day.”

That excitement is exactly what might fill the gap separating you from professional fulfillment – and one way to define your best career opportunities is to identify your ideal career niche, by answering these three questions:

• What are you passionate about?
• What are your skills and talents?
• What does your company/industry need and value?

Don’t assume you know what your company needs. Your best bet is to constantly stay in the loop. “I feel you should network, network, network,” says Nehal. “You have to network inside your company and outside your company. You will find opportunity through your network.”

Sara agrees, emphasizing the opportunities that truly resonate and the people willing to offer support. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Do that! And then, let others pull you up. Find those people. Let them pull you up.”

“Those people” are often mentors, coaches, sponsors, and connectors such as recruiters and good friends, what Nehal calls her “personal board of directors.”

Making the leap
Now, I’m about to share with you quite a checklist of criteria, but I guarantee your career advancement goals will be well-served (and possibly shaped) by considering each of these factors before taking on new, forward-thinking responsibilities.

Say “yes” to projects, roles and assignments that…
• Fit your “ideal career niche” – because you’re more successful when you’re in your sweet spot.
• Allow you to demonstrate your ability to deliver results – because value is heightened with visibility.
• Are in a business that is growing, and not shrinking – because you’ll see greater opportunities for growth.
• Are in a revenue center, not a cost center – because doing something that makes money for a company, rather than spends it, invites greater opportunities.
• Directly support the organization’s strategic plan and goals – because you’ll be moving in the same direction as the company.

Where you get to…
• Improve the ‘bottom line.’
• Perform a specific, not general, role (if you’re on a Technical track).
• Broaden exposure to a new department, function or area (if you’re on a Management track).
• Push the cutting edge in your field of expertise
• Make your work visible to key leaders
• Grow your business acumen and leadership skills.

There’s a definite symmetry to this list, a balance designed to show your strengths while addressing the needs that you can fill. I also want to add that this checklist comes from me, as a coach. During our session, Sara and Nehal offered their own criteria for assessing new career opportunities, sharing different ways to mind the professional gap that worked for them.

Sara’s method is simple and heartfelt. “Am I going to be excited to walk in the door every day? And can I make an impact on somebody?”

Nehal takes an analytical approach, starting with a “state of the union” assessment of the organization or product, knowing the strengths you can leverage for the opportunity, then asking yourself, “what are the areas that I'm going to need to grow in? What are the areas that I'm going to need to learn? Are they go-to people? Who are my go-to people? You also need to assess:  Am I going to be set up for success?”

Whichever approach, and whatever route you take, remember that you are the one stepping onto that train.

“It is your career,” says Nehal. “You would have to own, build, grow, reinvent, reposition, manage, and steer it to be successful.

“Take gigs that feed your soul,” adds Sara. “Don't worry about going straight up the path. Go to the sides like it's a jungle gym. Don't worry about taking the straight path to your career. Enjoy it.”

Your next stop, whatever it is, awaits you. Step up, mind the gap, and you’ll get there.

Listen to the entire conversation with Nehal Mehta and Sara Sperling in the webinar “Breakout Career Moves”.

Members, log in now to view the webinar recording.
Not a member yet?
Join now for immediate access to the webinar.

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Li Chen, Microsoft

    “I want to be a role model for my kids so I always do my best to make a positive impact on my group, my product, and the people around me.”

Name: Li Chen
Current title: Principal Development Lead
Company: Microsoft Corporation

What is the most important thing you have learned that has been critical to your career success?
For me, it’s finding my purpose in life and focusing on the “right things”. After I had kids, I realized suddenly that my time is precious. Understanding this has forced me to reprioritize things; many of the things that I thought were important are not as important now. I want to be a role model for my kids so I always do my best to make a positive impact on my group, my product, and the people around me.

 “...I now believe that one’s positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract health, wealth, and happiness.”

What tools or resources have you used that have been crucial to your success? I read books and have attended a few training sessions that have been important to me. I would recommend the book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I was skeptical about the concept at first but I now believe that one’s positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract health, wealth, and happiness.

I have attended many powerful trainings, but the one that stands out is the most is the Manager Foundation Training that Microsoft conducts, which is a very intense five day off-site session. In the training, we formed teams, completed projects, and gave each other candid feedback. That training freed me from my worry of grammatical errors and other small things and it has enabled me to be more engaged and productive in meetings.

“I value trust a lot...Without trust, we would not be able to have a cohesive and productive team.”
Have you experienced a career or leadership challenge recently that you have overcome? Recently I had an incident with my coworker that caused trust issues between us. I value trust a lot, and lack of trust is the first of the five dysfunction of a team as taught by Patrick Lencioni. Without trust, we would not be able to have a cohesive and productive team. There are things that both of us learned from this incident, but still I wondered “how do I repair the trust?” I wanted to resolve this but was reluctant to take action because I was afraid of making the situation worse. Finally, I took a leap of faith and initiated a follow up discussion with the other person to resolve our differences. The trust is not completely restored yet but it certainly is improving.

“I have served as chair of Cloud and Enterprise Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) for the last two years...I’m honored to have such an opportunity to help build this community for women in our organization...”
What professional accomplishment or result have you achieved in the past year that you are proud of? Last year, my team shipped a hybrid solution for our existing SCCM customers to use Windows Intune service to securely manage modern devices including WP8, Windows RT, and iOS. We delivered that solution in a drastically shorter time than our previous 3 year shipping cycle.

I have served as chair of Cloud and Enterprise Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) for the last two years. WLC is a grass roots organization that has 390 members. I’m honored to have such an opportunity to help build this community for women in our organization, which has been created to help women connect with each other, as well as facilitate professional and personal development.