Most CEOs didn’t plan to be CEOs when they first started their careers. Rather than strategizing their way to the top, they gave their best and, as cheesy as it sounds, followed what their hearts told them to do. Eventually, a path opened up to them.
“One of the best moves I ever made in my career was to take a step down the ladder” -Paulett Eberhart
Paulett Eberhart did not strategize to the CEO of CPI Corporation. Just as what she said in her interview with Sasha Galbraith, she dropped down her position further away from the CEO position in order to run a new piece of organization in the company. People would shake their heads in disapproval, but she stood firmly with her decision that it was a necessary step for her long-term goal. As we can see, the distinction between Eberhart and other people is that she believed in herself and her ability to decide what’s the best for her.
Also, she gave us insightful advice as a successful businesswoman.
1. Do not ask “I want you to be my mentor”. Just give your best and show people your potential
Don’t ask! Just develop a relationship naturally. When you are willing to reach out to them, you will find that they will be responsive and willing to help you. Eberhart never asked people to be her mentor. Her first two mentors were fathers of two and five daughters. Perhaps they wanted to see a successful vision for their daughters through Eberhart, but the most important thing was that she showed them her potential.
2. Do not find mentors who are very similar to you
You always want to expand your horizon, but you wouldn’t be able to if you only look for people who are similar to you.
3. Make things happen for yourself
Many smart people work really hard but are not noticed by others. Don’t be afraid and start to reach out to people and build a network. When people see that you are sincere and working hard, they will be more than happy to give you advice.
People like her are successful not because they did something that other people could not do but because they gave their best in doing something that other people might not think to do
Yuen Chun Lee
Interviewed by Sasha Galbraith: