Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
I am an Executive Coach with 20+ years experience in senior business leadership roles including as CEO of Fortune 500 companies. I help my clients achieve their goals, and I have a profound passion and expertise in helping Women Leaders unleash their potential.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I joined Ellevate to inspire and be inspired, to support and feel supported, to learn and share what I have learned.
How would you define your professional mission?
I help talented people grow and fulfill their potential. This has been a theme in my life, both personally and professionally, and once it was clear to me that it was both my passion and something I am great at, there was no turning back. This clarity helped me jump from the Corporate world to Executive Coaching.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Empathy. Intelligence. Experience. Courage to challenge, soft-skills to support.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
Even though I should probably say it was when I became CEO of a Fortune 500 company, what I am proudest of is that when I had that "power", I was able to bring about meaningful change for Women by improving our Family Leave Policies, Women Leadership Initiatives and Diversity & Inclusion Programs. Power is not about who you are, but what you can do with it.
What are some career challenges on your radar?
The career challenges at this stage are more about how to help other Women Leaders dream and achieve ambitious and meaningful goals. I have achieved my own in my 20+ years of Business Leadership, and now it's really all about helping others build and achieve theirs.
What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?
Luckily, there are many projects I can say I am proud of! But probably one that will always be a highlight was creating a Coalition of companies to proactively improve their Parental Support policies, which was recognized by the United Nations as a best practice of Private-Public partnership to empower Women Leadership.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
When I look back to my beginnings as a young woman in Latin America, I still get the chills to realize that I have achieved dreams that I didn't even know I had. Through my career I was very fortunate to have lived and travelled all over the world, leading amazing teams and businesses, and building a personal and professional life I am very proud of. What led me to where I am is, I believe: Courage, Passion, Intelligence, Generosity, Drive, Empathy, Focus, Good Advice and Discipline.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When you see someone right in front of your eyes having a massive "a-ha" moment that is powerful to the point of fundamentally changing the trajectory of their career and sometimes even their life.
What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
Knowing that I played a part in the growth of the amazing people I have Coached, Led or Mentored.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
The beauty of Executive Coaching (the way I do it) is that it requires a balance between "knowing what it takes" because I have been where my leader clients are, but also being on the outside with the tools and expertise to guide them to build their own path to success. It also takes a delicate balance between challenge and support, and I love being able to bring both to my clients.
Who are your role models?
Not very original, I know, but I would say: Barack Obama for his intelligence, gravitas and convictions: Pope Francis for his compassion: Oprah Winfrey for her ability to successfully stretch and reinvent herself soulfully; Steve Jobs for his boldness; Maya Angelou for her ability to inspire, and many others!
What is your morning ritual?
Truthfully, it's not always consistent but my ideal one includes working out, meditation, coffee and catching up with emails before I start my work.
What would you say your personal superpower is?
I think that if I listen to what people told me consistently throughout my life, is to inspire others. I sometimes don't really think of myself so highly in that respect, but it's probably the single most common soundbite I get, so I guess I'll take it!
What does success look like to you?
Success looks like seeing that my contributions (to a business, a leader's growth, and even my personal life) make a meaningful, concrete impact.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Not anymore! It was during my Corporate years and it was partly why I have transitioned into Executive Coaching. The no-fail tactic that I used was to filter where I spent my time and energy based on IMPACT and MEANING. Am I uniquely able to make a difference if I focus here versus anywhere else? Will the result coming out of this focus be truly meaningful to me and to my stakeholder goals (business, team)? If the answer to both was yes, then I was 100% committed, but if I was not sure, it was a good sign that perhaps it was not a top priority and then I needed to delegate / reframe etc
What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?
Know what you want and say it! Both are hard things to do, because getting true professional clarity of what you are great at, and the courage to make concrete goals and go for it boldly, is less common than you would think.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
"Have fun!". Because you will work your booty off anyway, so might as well enjoy the process...
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
You will have to make trade-offs, so chose projects where you know you will shine (because you are both good at it and have passion for), and that you know will have an undeniable business impact where you can say you played a key role. Projects that you can speak proudly about at the dinner table with your kids. This will make it easier to remind yourself when life gets crazy that it's a choice you've made thoughtfully, and is the best choice for your life design.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
The Preston Associates
I am an Executive Coach with 20+ years in senior business leadership roles including as CEO of Fortune 500 companies. I help my clients achieve their goals, and I have a profound passion and expertise in helping Women Leaders unleash their potential. Continue Reading
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