Tomorrow (March 8) is International Women's Day (IWD) and the 2018 campaign theme is #PressforProgress. IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and finding your best self. As Sheryl Sandberg says: "In the future there won't be women leaders. Just leaders."
Find Your Superpower.
What is it that enables leaders from Oprah Winfrey and Melinda Gates to Meg Whitman and Arianna Huffington to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges that at first seem to exceed their limits? The chances are they all have one outstanding quality in common: they show up. To celebrate IWD, I want to highlight a woman who is serving as a leader, mentor and role model to aspiring women around the world.
Forbes 30 Under 30.
Upon reading the Forbes 30 under 30 list, it's clear that the winners are examples of outstanding purpose and talent who have mastered the Finnish art of sisu, an alchemy of courage, grit and persistence and have a lot to show for it. I recently met with Megan Caywood who made the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 Finance list and serves as the Chief Platform Officer at Starling Bank where she leads across API strategy, partnerships, and the Starling Marketplace.
What Inspires You?
My team inspires me incredibly much: I find their dedication to our mission as a company truly outstanding. As the saying goes, "Go alone, go fast - go together, go far."
What Message Would You Give To Young Aspiring Women?
Energy is contagious. Ask yourself are you a radiator or a drain? Surround yourself with radiators! When you know specifically what you want to achieve, things will start to click into place to help you achieve it: you'll find new opportunities that will move you closer to your goal and you'll connect with people who can assist you in achieving your mission. Be relentlessly proactive and know that the best way to grow is to do.
If you don't know your why, you won't know your way. Your core values provide the compass that keeps you moving in the right direction. Rather than being abstract ideas, these values are the true path to willpower and success. Prioritise what you want, and go for it. Be a learner, not a knower: setbacks will happen, but if you learn from them it will help you to not just survive but thrive in a world of uncertainty.
What's The Best Advice You Ever Got?
Embrace a beginner's mindset and always look for new ways to do things differently. A fresh perspective and different points of view brings a lot of value, so trust your gut and don't be afraid to speak up!
Which Companies Do You Admire?
Intuit, Xero and Amazon are all innovation catalysts. They understand that innovation isn't a noun, a job title, a status or a department. It's a mindset and set of winning behaviours. We can all learn from that.
The cost of trying anything in life will never be as painful as never knowing. To find your superpower on IWD means to navigate life's twists and turns with courage and an open mind. Nobel prize winner Marie Curie said it best: "Nothing in life is to be feared, only understood."