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5 Lessons of Success from the Strongest Women in Business

Sophia Gardner Jul 16, 2019
Not only Henry Ford, Bill Gates and other men are popular and successful entrepreneurs. There are many women, too, who are successful and serve as great inspirations to shape our world.
There's no secret to success and every career is one part luck and nine parts hard work. However, there have been exceptionally empowering examples that can teach us the key qualities one must have to be successful.

These five powerful women are nothing less than awesome and inspiring. Let’s see what traits they consider crucial for their success.

Ginni Rometty: Determination

Rometty became the first woman to lead IBM in 2012 and did everything to pave the company’s transition to a data age of cloud computing and machine learning systems. She believes that growth and comfort never coexist, and to develop and learn more, one must take risks.
Hence she built her strategy around cognitive computing and made a strong bet on blockchain “before it was cool”. Her efforts increased the revenue of the company, which was falling when she took over.
"No matter where you are in your career, you work on something you're passionate about and work on something bigger than yourself." This phrase could be her motto. Such loyalty and determination finds reflection in her own career.
She joined IBM in 1981 as Systems Engineer and never left, which makes her a 38-year veteran of the company. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that she devoted her life to the work she loves and which she knows inside out.
Her personal life mirrors this same attitude – she met her husband when she was 19 and the couple remained devoted to each other ever since.

She is also famous for her efforts to keep women in the workforce, including extended parental leave, a breast milk delivery program and returnships.

Indra Nooyi: Analysis

Indra Nooyi was the first female CEO at PepsiCo and increased the company’s revenue by 80 percent during the 12 years of her presidency.

When she stepped down from her position in October 2018, her last advice to employees stressed on importance of lifelong learning and value of time.
"Make the most of your days and make space for the loved ones who matter most”.

Among secrets of success, she mentions the importance of a niche skill. Be perfect at something you are good at. In case of a problem, you want people to consider you as the only one to solve it. This competence makes you valuable.
Nooyi herself is known for her ability to make very complicated problems simple and untangling them, thanks to the deep research into the topic. She knew exactly what she said when she gave an advice about life-long learning.
When she had to modernize an IT system at PepsiCo, she spent her entire vacation studying through textbooks and consulting professors. “Somebody gives me a complex problem I become a student. I don’t care that I’m CEO, or president, or CFO. I become a student” – and a keen student, I daresay, who never needed outside myadmissionsessay review.

Sheryl Sandberg: Ambition

Sandberg is the first woman to serve in the board of directors of Facebook. She became COO in 2008 and since then Facebook went from $56 million loss to $22.1 billion profits. She focused on making Facebook a platform for small businesses and this led to a 38% ad revenue increase. Her objectives are not all about profits, however.
New Facebook Tribute feature that is focused on preserving the accounts of deceased members, has a deeply personal meaning for Sheryl after her husband’s sudden demise in 2015.
Her empowering book Lean In, geared towards motivated women who chose to succeed in business, is full of proactive advice on changing behaviors that can spoil one’s career. Her main idea is you should be vocal, speak up in meetings, and discuss your accomplishments.

Opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized” – says Sandberg in her book.
In an interview for Business Insider’s podcast, she attributed her own success to “getting on a rocket ship, being willing to take risks and do something that I hadn't done before, like work in technology, and finding ways to start believing in myself."

Ambition is a powerful drive and women must learn to dream big and commit to their dreams.

Meg Whitman: Positivity

CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise from 2011 to 2018 and an acting chair on the company’s board of directors, Whitman is more famous for taking eBay from $4 million to $8 billion annual revenue as the company’s CEO (1998 to 2008).

She showed far-sightedness acquiring Skype and PayPal when their potential was far from evident to everyone.
Her main advice is focusing on positive and enhancing instead of giving all the attention to negative sides of things and mistakes. “My advice, having done this a number of times, is to go into an organization and figure out what that company's doing right, and do more of it.
You'll eventually get to your to-do list and to your fix-it list, but if you come in and just talk about what's going wrong, you will lose hearts and minds.”
She strongly stresses the importance of teamwork. “Business… has always been for me about a team sport and who you have on your team and who your team members are, even if you’re not the boss.”

Susan Wojcicki: Vision

Acting as CEO of YouTube since February 2014, she focused her efforts on cultivating loyal user base and managed many controversies the platform encountered due to its explosive growth.
Wojcicki’s secret to success is her curiosity and willingness to take a leap of faith and explore new possibilities. “There are moments where you see something the world hasn’t seen it yet, and you understand how the world is going to change in the future.” Well, Susan definitely had a few such moments.
Her parents were academics and she was setting herself to the same path in History and Literature, yet decided to take a Computer Science course and pivoted to a career in technology.

Radical enough, yet she has shown sagacity once more when she left Intel back in 1998 and joined a then-obscure startup as its sixteenth employee and a first marketing manager.
Needless to say, that this bet paid off big time because together with her expertise and enthusiasm, she rented her garage to Google founders.
She supervised Google’s own video service when YouTube, a nascent video-hosting website came on stage. Susan immediately recognized its potential and convinced Google to buy it for $1.65 billion in 2006. It’s now worth an estimated $70 billion.