What Makes a Great Leader?

Words of Wisdom from WIT Leadership Awards Finalists – Corporate Small-Market Category

As we move closer to the annual WIT Leadership Awards on May 17, we are featuring real life stories and insights from the outstanding pool of finalists for the 2018 awards.

Today we recognize finalists in the Corporate Small-Market category.

  • Erika Flora, BEYOND20
  • Rochelle Sanchirico, mHelpDesk

We asked each finalist to share the best piece of advice they had received and here’s what they had to say:

“‘Ask and you shall receive’ – a practical, yet powerful affirmation. It also happens to be the best piece of advice I ever received. I was told that if I wanted to be a leader and succeed, always ask for what I wanted. Ironically, it was my now husband and business partner who gave me this invaluable guidance, and I’ve taken it to heart ever since he said it.

In the corporate world, I am amazed by how many men ask for what they want - whether it be a promotion, support, a mentor, more money, or in closing a sale -  and how far few women do.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, I’ve made it an imperative to ask for what I want and to encourage other women to do the same. Not doing so just isn’t smart business and often means missed wins and opportunities.

Occasionally I have to remind myself to ask for what I want. Recently, I had an issue with a supplier and wrote an email stating all the problems. Fortunately, right before I hit the send button, I remembered I needed to make an ‘ask.’ I decided to ask for a 50% refund, and voilà, just like that, I received the entire refund amount I asked for and more! If I had not asked, I am betting I would have simply received a meager apology; and although warranted, it would not have helped the business. I would have been upset by this outcome. Meanwhile the supplier would have had no idea – all because I assumed they could read my mind.

The moral to this story is that people around us are not mind readers, so if you want them to know what you want – you’d better explicitly ask for it.”

--Erika Flora, President, BEYOND2

“‘Sometimes you have to do hard things, but as long as it's coming from a place of positivity, then you shouldn't be afraid to do them.’ Interestingly, this piece of advice came from a nutritionist I was seeing when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I was in the midst of having to manage out a couple of underperforming employees, which is always painful but is part of the job. We were discussing how I was struggling with it when she gave me this advice. It gave me the right perspective to move forward and feel good about the decision.

I refer to this piece of advice all the time--when I have to give people (including my kids!) hard feedback or have to fight for an initiative I know (based on data and my experience) is the right thing for the organization. It's hard to do hard things, but if it's coming from an authentic desire to help an individual or the organization improve, then it's the right thing and must be done.”

--Rochelle Sanchirico, Chief Marketing Officer, mHelpDesk

Join us for the 19th annual WIT Leadership Awards on May 17th at the Sheraton Tyson’s Corner as we honor each of these women for their outstanding leadership. Tickets are available here: http://www.womenintechnology.org/index.php?option=com_jevents&task=icalevent.detail&evid=170


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