For Women’s History Month, we are celebrating the inspiring and hard-working women at Businessolver who are helping to create the success of the company each and every day. We interviewed Michelle Lockhart, the Strategy Practice Leader for Carrier and Partner Relations, for our next blog entry.
What women in history do you admire most and why?
When I was a young girl, I saw a movie about Helen Keller and was fascinated on the physical challenges she faced, yet she learned to communicate and eventually graduated from college. She had a passion for social and political issues— she was an advocate for people with disabilities, especially for the blind. Her determination and impact has always been something I admire.
What woman or women inspired you to be the leader you are today?
I have several women who inspire me to be the leader I am today. All of them always seem to see something in me that I never saw in myself. The first woman who made the biggest impact is my mom. She was a single mom, who always seemed to manage her career and take care of her family without missing a beat. She encouraged my sister and me to not always take the easy road but the one that would lead to the most reward despite the curves and hills to get there. She demonstrated that listening and having empathy for others and being true to yourself is key to success and brings about much happiness.
In my professional career I have worked with some amazing women. Several years ago, I had the pleasure to report to a strong female leader who demonstrated confidence and strength in her role. Mimi encouraged me to do what I believed was right, no matter who said it was wrong. She allowed me to grow through the decisions I made and enabled me to take on new roles and projects to expand my abilities. She rarely missed a 1:1 meeting and always was engaged during our meetings. She cared about me, my family, and my success. Her guidance and leadership skills helped shape who I am today!
What advice would you give to women following in your footsteps?
Get out of your comfort zone! When an opportunity to take on a new project, move into a new position, learn a new process, etc. comes along: TAKE IT! The more diverse your experience, the more doors will open for you down the road. If I did not take the leap when the opportunities presented themselves these past 20 years, I would not be a leader at Businessolver today.
If you could give advice to your 20-year-old self, what would that be?
RELAX! Do not worry about what you cannot control, focus on what you can! Be ok with change and take those leaps of faith! Listen more, talk less! Trust your instincts; they will not steer you wrong! Do not focus on the past mistakes — look forward and be excited for the future because you are a pretty lucky person!