Today I was doing an interview with someone about being a female leader in marketing and in the staffing industry and was asked an interesting question….what advice today would you give your 24-year old self?
Oh my. Lot’s of advice, much of which is not mentionable on a blog titled “Marketing Meets Motherhood.” As I reflected for a moment on this, I thought a lot about Joe Haynes. Joe was my first boss at Procter & Gamble. He was a Finance Manager when I was a Cost Analyst. Joe taught me a lot, and in reflection was a very influential person in my own journey as a leader.
So, what was the advice I would give 24-year old self? It was one of the lessons that Joe taught me – to be authentic and inquisitive. Joe lived a life of authenticity. From the day that I met him, he was who he was with no apologies. He told me early on to be comfortable in what I know, ask questions about what I don’t, and always be good with either. I wish at many points in my early career that I would have listened to him more. When I finally learned that I should and I could do this, I became more comfortable in my own skin.
It is a lesson that I wish that learned earlier, and often one that I need to remind myself of today. Each time I either succeed or fail at being an authentic leader, and trust me there are both, I think of Joe. We are rarely in touch today, but I imagine Joe, retired from P&G, living a life of authenticity. He may not ever know how influential this was for me, or even that he said it. Joe, I hope that our paths cross again.