I have been very fortunate throughout my career to have had a strong support system — family, close friends, mentors and sponsors — encouraging, guiding and advocating for me through many career choices and business matters. And one of the many things I enjoy about my role today is having the opportunity to nurture and develop young talent. The employee resource groups at our Company provide expanded opportunities for many leaders to contribute to the mentorship of our talent.
I seek to mentor or sponsor individuals who are proactive, smart, and truly have a passion for life-long learning. It’s important to note that mentorship is a two-way partnership, with benefits and responsibilities on both ends. I’m frequently teaching, and acting on, advice from one of my own early career mentors: Don’t be afraid to fail. If you never take risks, you may never be able to reach your full potential. Always prepare well, and self-reflect to extract valuable lessons from your mistakes but don't dwell on them – move on!
Having mentors and sponsors does not end when you reach the “C suite.” I remain grateful to my personal “board of directors” — made up of individuals from many different aspects of my life whose objective and candid guidance I treasure — to provide important grounding and insight in a variety of different areas for me. Listening and learning will always be central to how I continue to evolve, and contributing to the success of others will always be a part of what fulfills me professionally.
Read more about Tracey Travis in her Executive Leadership profile.