I had the privilege on November 7th 2014 to assist at the inaugural event of a new undergraduate program designed for women in business. Robinson College of Business introduced us to Women Lead, Paving the Way for Women to Lead. We had the pleasure to see three incredible women answering to the questions of the students interesting in being the Leaders of tomorrow. I want to share with you five points from one of the panelist who was also the keynote speaker of the event.
Katie Bayne is Senior Vice President at Global Sparkling Brands, The Coca-Cola Company. After joining the company in 1989 she got an incredible career leading her to be the President of Coca Cola, North America Brands. She talked about how anyone especially a woman can succeed in business but also in the personal life.
1- Be honest with yourself
According to Katie Bayne we need to know what we really want and follow that path. She was a psychology major but she knew she wanted to be in marketing and then she engaged in that direction. We should never be afraid of taking a new challenge. She remember what one of her supervisor asked her once “I know you have the ability but do you have the ambition?” This is the kind of question we should all ask ourselves.
2- Understand social norms…but do not let them limit you
As a part of a society, sharing a specific culture, we need to comply with some rules. However we should never being stop in our dreams, objectives because of what the society qualify as normal. As women, we can also be leader but more important we can bring our own personality in the business world.
3- Accept your failures…learn from them
Katie Bayne made a reference to one idea she tried to implement with her marketing team. It was a complete disaster because she did not take into consideration what was really valuable to her consumers. She learned that she needed to keep things simple. In life, we are always going to meet failure but the most important is to learn how to improve ourselves.
4- If you want balance…create balance for your life
I have to admit that during her speech, I was wondering if she had a family life. She travels a lot for her job and I was asking myself how she manages to have personal time. She answered to that question by saying that we need to truly dedicate ourselves to everything we love. She established priorities in her life. When she is at work, she is there at 100 % but when it is time for personal leisure she is also at 100%. In order to create balance in our life, we need mentorships both in our career and personal life. She had the chance to have supportive friends and a comprehensive husband. She knows she can counts on her team work but also on her relatives.
5- Get to know your people
At work, this implies that you should know your team, system, customers and consumers. The same thing applies in every aspect of our lives; if you want to give a valuable product to the consumers, you need to know what they consider as important. In our daily lives we also need to understand our family, friends, the people around us. The way we act with people depends on what we know about them.
At the end of this journey, we need to keep in mind that we are responsible for where we are in our lives. It is our duty to work hard in order to accomplish our dreams.