Edda Collins Coleman talks confidence, goals and how failure can lead to success

Edda Collins Coleman

Edda Collins Coleman
Principal, The 316 Group

What inspires you to show up at work every day?
Our work at The 316 Group and the opportunity to mentor, lead and inspire, as someone mentored me, and the meaningful projects we help mold.

How did you determine your career path?
God completely determined my path. From the very beginning he has ordered my steps and given me opportunities to work on presidential campaigns, within the health care, tech and energy sectors, and for a number of global companies where I grew professionally and worked on amazing endeavors. I’ve always known I wanted to work in the intersection of politics, advocacy and policy, and it was just a matter of how and when.

Describe the skill sets that are essential to future business leader and innovators?
Discipline, patience, resoluteness, truth, risk and confidence are all necessary attributes one should have when starting a business. You have to be smart, authentic, passionate, hungry and have a can-do attitude at all times, and let’s not forget faith.

Define innovative methods you apply to your business and life.
I constantly focus on how I can add value to my clients at The 316 Group as well as in life. There’s nothing new under the sun, but there is always a better approach to attacking a challenge, whether personal or professional. I live by the value add mantra and have found this to be very fulfilling.

How do you set goals and evaluate your success?
I write down and evaluate my goals every three to six months. It’s nice to review and ensures I’m making the strides I need to in both my personal and professional lives. It’s even better when I can place a check mark next to a goal that’s been completed and move on to the next challenge.

Describe why lifelong learning is important to you?
To be a leader, you have to be willing to evolve and continue to learn. Without learning, one will become stagnant and thoughtful innovation stifled.

What are the three most important factors of being a successful woman?
Teamwork, Agility, Accountability

Technology plays what role in your daily life?
Technology is a critical innovation and an essential tool in my toolbox. I use my iPhone, MacBook, and iPad around the clock to check-in on The 316 Group and what’s happening in the world in real time, anywhere. With technology readily at my fingertips, I stay connected, accountable and in touch with my clients and businesses.

What social media or digital tool has made the biggest difference in your life and why?
Twitter. I am a true evangelist for Twitter. I’ve met clients, colleagues and even won contests all through 140 characters. It’s truly innovation at its best.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Resistance to change. Growth, really. Society should really embrace change more readily and embrace all of its wonderful by-products. It would be very exciting to see how beautiful the world could become.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I need more patience, please.

Who or what motivates you and why?
There is not one person or one thing that motivates me; it’s a combination of elements that includes God, family and the satisfaction of success. With God as my beacon, my family as my rock and success as my destination, I always feel ready and equipped to aspire.

What are the dos and don’ts for young women in business?
A great friend sent this to me when I started The 316 Group and I believe this completely:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

How do you successfully grow from business failure?
You have to dissect what contributed to the business’ failure. You incrementally improve or overhaul those deficiencies and apply what will make your business greater. Failure breeds innovation and through adversity, the business emerges stronger and better equipped to succeed.

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