Senior Manager, Inclusion Practices
Who is/was your most influential leadership mentor and why?
There are several mentors that have influenced me along the way. I enjoy speaking with a variety of leaders from varying walks of life to understand their journey, challenges, successes, and insights. Some came along earlier in my career, others much more recently, but all have helped me work through a series of speed bumps and triumphs that I’ve encountered throughout my career. I believe it takes a village to grow a career, and I have definitely called on the village when I needed sound counsel. I’ve been blessed to have had access to so many brilliant leaders who have graciously given their time just for me.
What is your most rewarding career accomplishment?
My most rewarding accomplishment is getting executive buy-in on a strategic plan which I developed, resulting in a promotion and new role for myself.
What’s the worst fault a leader can have?
The worst fault a leader can have is thinking that they have all the answers and refusing to listen to or value the expertise and perspectives around them. No matter how accomplished one can be, no one truly has seen it all. Leaders who pretend to know everything and only trust in themselves become a liability to the organization, and a saboteur to their own careers.
What advice can you provide for young leaders?
Be patient. Be open. Be available. Be a student. New leaders need to understand the political landscape of an organization and how to get things done ethically, efficiently and accurately. Moreover, they need to refrain from making assumptions about the capabilities of team members without fair and objective analysis. Blind spots can be lethal.
Headquarters: Vernon Hills, Illinois
Web site: www.cdw.com
Primary Business: Technology Solutions for business, government and education
What are the personal and professional risks a leader should take?
Leadership comes with inherent risks, including unwanted exposure when something doesn’t go according to plan. Leaders need to be willing to step outside their assigned role and take on a less desirable assignment with major value potential for the company. Leaders who take appropriate and educated risks find out their range of skills, bringing them closer to reaching their full potential. Leaders have to possess strong and accurate self-insight in order to confidently ride the waves of success and setbacks, both by-products of risk-taking.