What were pivotal moments in your career that helped you discover your unique leadership approach?
Monisha: I would have to say 2008-2010, when the economy collapsed. People did not want to trust their banks if they did not value and honor transparency. I did not have the stature, nor the experience, but I did have the ability to understand the people’s perspective. And that came from who I surrounded myself with.
Bhakti: Having three maternity leaves over a two-year period left me with good transitions, and not-so-good transitions. A team of thirty depended on me, and it made me very intentional with finding people I wanted to invest in and give my effort to. I love my job for that very reason: because I get to build advisors. I find that very energizing.
Chi: When I think of pivotal moments I think of the times I felt frustration versus calmness. I think it helps to go over what triggers these emotions. What gets you angry? What makes you calm? Once you know these things for yourself, you can recognize them in your peers.
Do you think the concept of networking has evolved over the years?
Chi: Strategic and intentional networking is important in your career and personal life. If you’re just starting out: foster meaningful, sustainable work relationships by working together for someone or something. You’ll expand your network better by sharing a common passion with that person. When they think about the connection they have to you, you want them to have an anecdote to substantiate it.
Monisha: Let’s not define ourselves by our roles in the workplace. I’m on the board of directors for five non-profit organizations, and I have gained so much more than I have ever contributed to these organizations. Those relationships have resulted in professional opportunities. Think broadly about who you want to define your network.
Sana: Network by dressing yourself up. Dressing up makes you feel important, and the people you meet will feel they’re important to you because of the effort you put into your appearance. Women especially feel that they won’t be taken seriously if they put too much effort into their hair, makeup, and/or outfit. You can be beautiful and still focus on your work. We can be beautiful and be seen.