29 Mar CDF Key Takeaways: Susan Salka’s "Harness Your Vision To Make an Impact"
In keeping with our tradition, please find below several highlights and key takeaways from Susan Salka’s March 29th presentation.
While few among us have been able to help grow an organization’s revenue from $5M to $2B, like Susan, these lessons are still beneficial to each of us in our unique roles. We hope you enjoy the wisdom she shared as much as we did, whether you heard it at our event or are reading it for the first time.
- During the tough times, the easiest thing to do is walk away, but this is when you will learn the most lessons.
- Culture is paramount to success. Create a culture that allows people to thrive and succeed.
- Innovation is important. You must be willing to try new things and also be prepared to fail. Failure is an opportunity to learn.
- Surround yourself with others who are passionate.
- Capture hearts. Think about your legacy and what you want to be remembered for. Create a positive environment with a focus on helping others.
- Provide options and flexibility to foster work/life balance.
- When dealing with “barking chihuahuas” in the organization, do not react instantly. Take time to think about their perspective(s) and how you want to respond. You may even be persuaded by them.
- Make it Personal: Leaders should be authentic and shouldn’t be afraid to connect on a personal level and humanize interactions.
- Have Your Own Personal Board of Directors: Look beyond your organization for your own Personal Board of Directors. These are people who will be candid with you, provide different perspectives, provide mentorship, inspire you, open doors for you and let you know when “your tag is sticking out,” or when you are provoking unintended consequences through your leadership.
- Possess Courage: Leaders must possess the courage to do what is not obvious, move outside comfort zones and must dare to improve. This requires perseverance and fortitude.
- Keep it Simple: Makes things meaningful and relatable. Tell people why they should care. As Susan’s dad says “Can you break that down to cows, chickens and ‘taters?”
- Open doors: Find a way to open doors for others and build each other up. Find unique ways to engage with and give back to your communities.
- Persevere: This is the fuel of progress. Leaders will always deal with winners and whiners. Be prepared to take two steps forward and one step back.