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Life Lessons from an Inspiring Leader

Posted by Karen Thompson

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I recently attended a Women in Leadership Lunch focused on Inspiring Entrepreneurship and Celebrating Women in Enterprise. The event, held in Perth, Western Australia, was a State Government Initiative, hosted by the Department of Local Government and Communities.

As the Minister for Women’s Interests, the Honourable Liza Harvey, said in her introduction, “Strong women make better communities.”

There were strong and amazing women in the room, both in the audience and on the stage. The presentation, given by Tracey Horton certainly resonated with me. Tracey is a past President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Western Australia, a very experienced company director and former Dean of the Business School at the University of Western Australia where she remains as an Emeritus Professor.

Tracey shared her lessons for success, and I thought they were worth sharing with a wider audience:

There is no substitute for hard work. Put in the effort and the hours needed. As Malcolm Gladwell showed in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours to really perfect things.
Never take your reputation for granted. It’s vital to build a good reputation and ensure it stays intact.
Make sure everything you do is in alignment with how you want to be known. Self-awareness and authenticity are vital.
Outsource, outsource, outsource! If your career is important to you, let someone else do the cleaning, ironing, gardening, car-washing, etc. It may feel like, especially in the early days of your career, the money is going out as fast as it’s coming in but the end result will be worth it.
Choose your life partner well. Have shared goals and dreams and work together. When Tracey was offered a scholarship at Stanford University to study her MBA, her very supportive husband moved with her to the US so she could take up the opportunity.
Don’t die wondering! Take those opportunities that present themselves or create your own. Don’t be so worried about failure that you don’t try.

I certainly came away from the event feeling inspired and ready to take on the next challenge. I hope Tracey’s words of wisdom resonate with you too.

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