- As a leader, continuous learning is key to Lynn Anderson’s success story. It’s important to be open to change, especially in ourselves.
- Mistakes are normal. They make you learn and be better.
- Always listen to feedback—that way, we can learn and evolve. But, don’t pay much attention to people who try to impose their views on us.
- Know your worth and limits. Be brave and be true to yourself.
1. What is the moment of your career you feel most proud of?
I am grateful that my career has been fulfilling in so many ways and continues to be so. Achievements are great—one of the youngest named Vice Presidents at my Fortune 100 firm, one of the only (at the time) female heads of a line of business, named to multiple boards, and becoming Chair of those boards. But besides that, there are so many opportunities to be proud of. For instance, when someone you have mentored gets promoted; when employees enjoy the culture you lead; when you accomplish a challenging objective, etc. I think what I am trying to say is that there are so many opportunities to feel proud throughout your career.
2. How have you maintained your success in such a competitive and changing industry?
Continuous learning is key. One thing to do is keep abreast of your industry’s technical changes. But, it is also important to evolve as a leader and builder of culture because the leadership style of a decade ago is no longer relatable and successful in today’s environment. Be open to change, especially in yourself.
3. What was your biggest career mistake, and what did you learn from it?
Always give critical feedback in a one-on-one environment. It seems like common sense, but in day-to-day work, I failed to do this in the past, and it did not reflect well on me and was not in the employee’s best interests. I learned this the hard way, but it has stuck with me—I will never make that mistake again.
4. What do you think of the social stigma that often sees working moms as not great moms because they do not pay full attention to their kids’ development, even though it’s not true?
My goal is to raise a happy and healthy child who becomes a productive member of society. There are certainly benefits and trade-offs to being a working mom, just as there are with being a stay-at-home mom. I have tried to be fully present when I am with my daughter and fully present when I am at work. At the end of the day, there are all kinds of biases where people judge others based on their life choices. I always try to listen to feedback so I can learn and evolve, but I don’t pay much attention to people who try to impose their views on me.
5. What are your views on ‘discriminatory hiring’ towards women? For example, companies are hesitant to hire women due to the additional costs of maternity leave, menstrual leave, etc.?
Clearly, this is changing. More progressive companies are offering maternity and paternity leave, also equalizing other benefits nowadays. Ultimately, these organizations will have an advantage in hiring. So much research and data have proven the value of a diverse workforce to achieve the most outstanding outcomes.
6. Your strategy was always to be brave. What’s one thing you’d like to say to someone who can’t act bravely?
Know your worth. Develop skills and networks that allow you to be true to yourself because you have choices. It is much easier to be brave when you have a financial safety net and a clear path to another role/company. Know your limits, so you don’t get backed into something “in the moment” that is not in line with your values. And finally, there is always next time to be brave!
As a leader and culture builder, it’s important to evolve and be open to change. We have to allow ourselves to make mistakes so that we can learn from them. Feedback is our new best friend—it gives external insights on what we should improve, but never let people impose their views on us. Know your worth and limits. Only then can we be brave and be true to ourselves.