Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland Nelson and welcome to another edition of Women Mean Business, where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is Erica Henning, Vice President for Portfolio Management for Lionstone Investments. Erica, welcome to Women Mean Business.
Erica: Thank you Leisa, delighted to be here.
Leisa: I’m excited to ask you one of my favorite questions.
Leisa: Even though you are the next generation you’re very successful at a very young age so I want to know what advice you have for your peers, but really there is another generation. The Millennials are right behind you and I know you’re managing them as well so this is sort of a double-edged question; your best advice for the next generation that you’re managing and a little advice for us on how to manage them if you would please.
Erica: Sure. Well I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I can certainly talk about what’s worked for me in my career. First I think it’s important to find something you’re passionate about and then work really hard at it and do it to the best of your ability; fundamentally the way that life is too short to get up every day and do something that you don’t intrinsically enjoy. The second thing I tell people is to understand what your goals are. If you know what your professional and your personal goals are it provides a very useful lens to think about opportunities that come your way or decisions that you need to make.
And then, once you know that, be yourself. Put yourself in environments where you can bring your whole self and your authentic self to work every day. And finally, push yourself, take a risk; accept the stretch assignment or better yet volunteer for the stretch assignment because those are the roles that will propel your career forward. In my experience I’ve certainly had times where something felt challenging or uncomfortable or frankly I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I used that as a signal to say to myself you can do it and you should do it, what’s the worst that could happen? So maybe you don’t execute as well or you fail, that’s part of life. And then what you do is pick yourself up and learn from the experience and go on. And at the end of the day I also tell people to remember to pay it forward, be a champion for other women, and make a difference in your community.
Leisa: Thank you. Is there any secret you want to tell us about managing your young team?
Erica: Well I love working with the Millennials for a couple of reasons. They’re smart, they’re technology savvy and I think they actually do work hard – at least the ones in my firm – and it’s interesting to be around them. And generally speaking if you don’t put labels on people and you just treat people as a one to one relationship you’re going to have the most successful relationship.
Leisa: Thank you very much
Leisa: There you have it, extraordinary advice from an extraordinary woman. I’m Leisa Holland Nelson, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Astoundz, your one search, one click, one company resource for all things interactive, especially optimized websites. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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