What inspires you to show up at work every day?
It sounds cliche, but I don’t really show up “for work.. What I do every day of my life now is build on the vision given to me as a child growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. Professionally, it’s been a very long and winding road. It has been difficult with lots of highs and lots of lows. The work is getting clarity and being able to pin point exactly what I call knowing my “it,” believing my “it” and then doing “it” everyday no matter what. Having the courage and stamina to stay committed to “it” yet the freedom to allow the journey to guide me rather than me guide it. That is the work.
Describe the skill sets that are essential to future business leader and innovators.
We have always stressed in our communities the importance of business leaders being engaged in our communities and giving back. We know that. We also know we have to make money and be able to create a constant flow of liquidity in our businesses and our lives. However, skill sets key to future business leaders and innovators is being able to create an environment in our minds where we are not only cultivating a space to have money, but a space to also have power and influence. I have spent a substantial time in politics and have worked along side very powerful leaders from Mayor Kasim Reed to Hillary Clinton to President Barack Obama and what I know now is money is important. But power and influence are even more important.
Names three books that changed how you saw life that you recommend to others.
The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn; The Four Agreements by Miguel A. Ruiz; Millionaire from Nazareth: His Prosperity Secrets for You! by Catherine Ponder and A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
Describe why lifelong learning is important to you.
Evolution is what life is about. Growing and becoming better and better personally and professionally. My lifelong learning has mostly come through people and certain situations in my life. When I am with someone, I try my best to be absolutely present in my mind with them and open to hear their communication with me because I never know what gifts of learning we are bringing each other through that communication.
What are three of the most important factors of being a successful career woman?
(1) Knowing and embracing your woman and everything that makes you that and always carrying that in every meeting with you.
(2) Picking your battles. Every battle does not need to be won by you.
(3) There is no balance when you are in the midst of creating your empire. The people that can ride with that, keep them close. The people that can’t, give into the fact that they can’t and keep it moving. And if you find yourself being one of those people stressing yourself out by trying to find balance in your life, then you might need to cut the idea of being a successful career woman. Success is sacrifice. Period.
What are the dos and don’ts for young women in business?
Once you find your “it,” never compromise “it” and always take “it” in the room with you. You may have to adjust the temperature of “it,” but never leave “it” at home.