March is the month we acknowledge the accomplishments of women throughout history. This year, our company’s national theme for Women’s History Month is #breakthebias. It’s a reminder that we still may have biases we’re not even aware of about how men and women think. Over the past few decades, the perception of leadership has changed dramatically as we welcomed more and more women into leadership positions in every industry.
Great companies recognize that strong leaders, both women, and men, can be nurturing, empathetic, and value cooperation and connection as much as they value tough competition. They can be flexible and decisive, confident and assertive. Making our staff members feel supported and safe doesn’t make them weak; it makes them more confident and gives them the courage to be supportive of others as well. At CSI, we are proud to have led the way in breaking the bias; 83% of our executive leadership team is made up of women.
Here are some of our team’s favorite leadership quotes and why they’re inspired by them.
Kate Mays, incoming COO – “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.” – Sara Blakely. Kate says people are often afraid and embarrassed to make mistakes in their careers. “This quote inspires me to not be afraid of failure.”
Brandy Kerby, President – “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” – Brenė Brown. Brandy says, “Our story is being written regardless of the role we choose to play in it. We can own our story by leading ourselves to connection, purpose, achievement, and fulfillment or we can base our happiness, worth, and potential on circumstance. Be the leader of your life; nobody else is better qualified.”
Melissa Fulmore-Hardwick, CIO – “You become what you believe!” – Oprah Winfrey. Melissa says, “Your life is a reflection of the way you think… you are creating your reality show every day, in every experience and every encounter.”
Kelly Ranney, President – “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah. Kelly says, “If you don’t take risks, you won’t reap the rewards, and confidence is key!”
Alisha Clough, VP, Human Resources – “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Ginni Rometty. Alisha says, “Step outside your comfort zone. In the most uncomfortable moments, we grow the most. Don’t be crippled by the fear of never having done something before. Instead, lean in, embrace it positively, be resourceful and in those moments, you will find the most growth!”
Alyssa Tillery, incoming President – “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” —Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady, American writer, and activist. Alyssa says, “This quote is inspiring to me because it suggests there is untapped potential in every person and team. Leadership, for me, is helping team members grow and fulfill their potential; leaders nudge people out of their comfort zones so they can achieve what they are capable of achieving. Further, this quote speaks to me as we navigate ‘unchartered territory.’ The years ahead will require us to take risks and push boundaries, leading us to where we ought to be.”