Good leaders all have one thing in common: They create a thriving ecosystem around them and ensure to seek/provide help. While the world is moving progressively in ensuring giving women leaders the equity they deserve, it is not even close. To celebrate Women History Month, our team has asked some successful women leaders to impart wisdom/knowledge by means of life lessons, that has helped these leaders keep raising the glass ceiling. We kept our ask to seek feedback from leaders on one foundational question: “What advice would you give to your younger self?”. The outcome is a beautiful ensemble of great insights and life lessons that are crucial and foundational for the new generation. We are thankful to the contributing leaders that helped us put together these golden nuggets of wisdom. I hope you enjoy it. Please email us at info [at] work2 [dot] org if you are a women leader and want to contribute to the topic.

Let’s read what leaders have to answer: “What advice would you give to your younger self?”

Embrace your whole self
Oh, sweet girl – you are full of love and life – don’t play small for anyone or anything – embrace your whole, beautiful, messy self and squeeze as much joy out of this crazy life as possible! – Anne Robie, Chief People Officer at Turnitin

Earn success and pay it forward
We all share the earth with so many great and inspirational people. Enjoy every bit of interaction as you get surfing through life. You will often be perceived differently, or many times your insecurities will try to take the worst of you. While they will certainly bother you, never let them define you. Whenever you feel discouraged, always remember that you are amongst the privileged ones and don’t give up. Let me give you one powerful thought that always works for me. The world is wonderful, and your energy, love, kindness, and empathy will keep it wonderful, so keep on spreading love and always trust yourself. I know you will grow up to be a wonderful person. – Deeksha Joshi, Head of Strategy, GRS Liberty Mutual

Celebrate your uniqueness
Don’t be afraid of your background. It’s not a life sentence. Yes, life will get tough, but press on. But don’t be afraid, because there will always be cheerleaders along the way rooting for your success. Find them and be a cheerleader yourself. Celebrate your uniqueness and values unapologetically. Find your voice in every situation, and don’t shy away from your strengths. – Phidelia Johnson, Chief Human Resources Officer at PAC-J Services

Don’t be afraid to take risks, make mistakes
Believe in yourself and dream bigger than what you can see around you and what you are told, as that advice is a result of the past not the future. When you start living in a world of what can be, you may very well surprise yourself on how capable you truly are. So don’t be afraid to take risks, make mistakes, learn, grow and realize what you can become. – Zaina Orbai, Chief People Officer at The RealReal

Listen to those who support your dreams and aspirations
Don’t let other people’s fears and insecurities hold you back. Listen to those who support your dreams and aspirations. – Melissa Rose, CEO at Melissa Rose Consulting

Be fanatical about where you invest your energy, heart, and mind
Be very careful on how you invest each moment – time is neither an ally or asset. It’s a real use it or lose it precious commodity. Be fanatical about where you invest your energy, heart, and mind. – Jeanette Winters, Talent Doc at Winters Advisory Group

Go work for an employer who will pay you in equity
If I were to give my younger self any sort of professional advice, it would be: Go work for an employer who will pay you in equity. And by the way, encourage the women in your life to do the same—because owning equity in a successful company can make a material impact on our ability to grow wealth, and to ultimately close the wealth gap. – Suzy Walther, Chief People Officer at Carta

Trust yourself and be authentic
Trust yourself and be authentic. Show up as you, not how you think others want you to be or what you think is the “norm”. – Fabienne Smolinski, Chief People and CSR Officer at Arbonne

You can do anything
That you can do anything you can dream of. – Christie Marzari, CLO State of MS at Aflac

Don’t be afraid to be persistent
The advice I recently gave one of my daughters would have been great for me when I was younger. This advice is to not be afraid to be persistent. Persistence is not a bad trait but instead shows that you are tenacious and passionate. Most people will not look negatively at someone who is so determined that they continue to reach out and follow up in a professional manner. – Trish Keller, Chief Technology Officer at Citizen Watch America

Create a space for success for many through your example
Life and work are not a zero-sum game. Be confident, have a plan for success, and work that plan harder than you would have ever thought possible to achieve those things that are important to you; but also remember that for you to win at work and at life, does not mean someone else has to lose. Create a space for success for many through your example. Lend a hand to others as they strive for success and celebrate their achievements as well. Know that not everyone will repay your kindness with kindness. These people do not define you. Getting to a destination, knowing you have done your best and that you have helped others find the best in themselves, is the definition of a career and life well-lived. – Pam Stampen, Chief People Officer at TASC

We understand it takes courage to show your vulnerable side, and showcase insights that have helped you achieve the success that most find an inspirational feat. On behalf of team Work2.0 and, we want to thank all the leaders who are working tirelessly to contribute to society and imparting change that is lifting the entire ecosystem to be a place of equity and fairness. While it’s a job too big for any single person, it requires a consistent dialogue/leaning-in and pushing the bar forward, and we salute all the women leaders for helping to achieve that. I hope all the readers will spread the word about this blog and extend the conversation within their community.