I wish every morning started out with the kind of inspiration that yesterday’s did. With CMB being listed as #48 on the Boston Business Journal and Commonwealth Institutes’ list of the Top 100 Women Led Companies in Massachusetts, I had the pleasure of joining our CEO Anne Bailey Berman at the awards breakfast to take a few minutes to celebrate these women and their accomplishments. As I looked around the room at the 600+ people I smiled thinking to myself “women have come a long way.”
Diane Hessan (@communispaceCEO on Twitter) gave the keynote and she was fabulous. She shared her Six Personal Lessons learned with her down to earth perspective as to how she got to where she is today. She ignited that fire inside me, reminding me that yes I can be a mom and have a successful career. Her passion was so motivating and there is something for both women and men to learn.
1. Look for the Serendipity- This so so true. As Diane said it is so rare we get to where we are without changing our path. Sometimes we find what we are looking for in the most unlikely places. It’s amazing to think how even the smallest decisions we make in our lives can lead us down a different path. As a working mom the serendipity seems to find me, but I have had to work hard to embrace it! However in doing that I can honestly say I am better off both personally and professionally. Just as there are “moments” in our lives that change everything, those moments can push us forward in our careers.
2. Do What You Love-One thing that seems to be not only common among these women, but a key to their success is their passion for what they do. They do what they love, so they love what they do.
3. Friends are a Must- I always say I could not be a working mom without my friends. They are there to help me in a pinch, celebrate the good and support me when I hit a bump in the road. Friends in the business world are much the same, like gold. They are the mentors, the people you turn to, the opinions you seek out. As my Dad taught me long ago, you get what you give and you get more with honey than vinegar.
4. Hire Passionate People- There’s that word again, passion. One of the things I love most about CMB is our people. Creating a company culture built on passion for what you do can’t help but lead to success. At CMB our people have allowed us to differentiate ourselves in a commoditized market. Our people ARE our brand and our biggest asset.
5. Create Balance- For me personally this I something I am always working on. So I am taking Diane’s advice and removing the word “OR” from my vocabulary and replacing it with “AND”. Thanks Diane for reminding me (on one of those mornings where things didn’t go as planned, you know that “serendipity thing”) that “yes, I can be a great mom and have a successful career”.
6. Dream Big- All of these women not only dream big, but they make it happen. They are “doers” not just “dreamers”. Diane’s advice, sometimes we need to get of our own way and always remember as with anything in life, don’t settle- Go for it.
It was inspiring to see these leading women, who are CEO’s of companies like BJ’s, Constant Contact and other well known brands, but even more motivating for me personally was the opportunity to experience this event first hand with Anne, someone who has found success and balance and has built a company designed to embrace both. Although Anne would attribute her success to all at CMB, the company culture is born at the top and fostered throughout by those like her who lead by example.
With only 3% of the nation’s top positions being held by women there is certainly room for improvement. With more of us removing “OR” from our vocabulary and replacing it with “AND” we should be able to move that number!
Posted by Kristen Garvey. Kristen is CMB's Director of Communications “AND” a mother of two. Embrace the Serendipity to see where it leads you. You can follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenGarvey