Success is no rocket science. There is no single right way to be successful. Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
In this episode of The Payal Nanjiani Leadership Podcast, Payal Nanjiani a Leadership expert, world-renowned executive coach and a New York award-winning author goes one on one with Michelle Proctor , Chief of Staff for the Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions division of SAS- USA. This is an edited transcript of the episode . You can listen to the full episode on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or Google podcasts.
Payal : When did you realize that you wanted to make a difference?
Michelle: I would say in college. I went to an engineering school where there weren't a lot of females, so I realized I was different. Perception is everything. I really thought I had to work so much harder than my make colleagues. One of the things that I noticed now looking back, even then I was kind of a go to person to figure out what classes to take, to pull together study groups. It was a natural thing for me to do. I realized very early on that I was different. I didn't use it as an excuse , I used it as a driver.
Don't compromise your fundamental values, the core of who you are. I firmly believe that if you keep your core values at heart and wear them on your sleeves and have that be your north star and driver. Servant leadership is incredibly important. If you look at opportunities to help grow and inspire individuals along the way , your organization is only gonna be that much better. By ourselves we can't do anything but together we are so much stronger.
Payal : What are some of the learnings that you took from NASA and applied it to Corporate America?
Michelle: They had a foresight to understand that there were very few women in the stem and I was part of a program that they were piloting that not only to get young people interested but specifically they were building a pipeline of women in the stem and had I not accidentally fallen into that, my whole career would be completely different. I would probably, literally, have been a flight attendant. Nasa is all about discipline and process and breaking through barriers. There is nothing that's not possible. When I started in the early 90's, they were just building the space station process and facility.
I was there when they broken ground into space station processing facility. It's more the some of the parts, if you look at it that way, you are able to accomplish things that you wouldn't think would be possible. It's just the mindset of the things that I have learnt there in terms of discipline and process that helped really in translated into the jobs.
Payal : The best advice our guest gives to the listeners is that:
Michelle: Don't allow circumstances to steal your joy.
Michelle's definition of leadership:- " If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more , do more and become more, then you are a leader." Do you inspire others to be better? If the answer is yes, regardless of where you are in the organization , you are a Leader.
" If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more , do more and become more, then you are a leader."
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