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WWPR recently hosted the 30th annual Woman of the Year awards luncheon on November 15, where we had the pleasure of Martha Boudreau, AARP’s Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, giving the keynote address. 

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of this signature award, the theme this year was Pearls of Wisdom – a nod to the pearl being the traditional symbol of the milestone of 30 years.

As part of her keynote address, Martha shared ten of her Pearls of Wisdom:

  1. Teamwork is More Essential Than Ever
    Learn how to create teams and serve on teams. In other words, sometimes you lead and   sometimes you follow. Be good at both. In this knowledge-based economy, being a sole contributor only gets you so far because the best work, ideas and innovations come from diverse experiences and points of view.
  2. Give Credit Away
    The most satisfying successes are the ones we share with others. Help those around you be the best they can and recognize their efforts.
  3. Be Courageous, Confident and Fearless
    This is essential in order to keep moving forward. Don’t let self-doubt paralyze you. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  4. Be Kind – Especially in the Face of Mistakes or Differences
    You can be kind and immensely effective at the same time. A truly unique leader is a blend of kindness, power and integrity.
  5. Constantly Learn – Never, Ever, Say “I Don’t Do That”
    Intellectual curiosity is a powerful accelerant in career development. You don’t have to be an expert in everything but you do need to be interested in understanding what is new and where intersections exist.
  6. Have a Strong Ethical Compass
    Never take shortcuts or the easy way out in matters of ethics. Right is right and wrong should not stand. Acting ethically is the foundation of your personal and professional reputation. People will forgive you for skills deficiencies, but they will not forget or forgive ethical lapses.
  7. Humility
    Great leaders have a sense of humility and know where their strengths and weaknesses lie. They celebrate differences and welcome everyone to the table. They believe the team is greater than themselves.
  8. Make Time for Friends – Don’t Get Lost in Decades of Busyness
    Friends are essential for happiness at every stage in life. Don’t take friendships for granted or let them languish merely because your “to do list” is long. Friends steady us in rough times and make life’s successes sweeter. We all need real, vibrant friendships. Don’t neglect yours.
  9. To Thine Own Self Be True
    Knowing who you are, listening to your inner voice and honoring your values creates the only compass you’ll ever need. Make sure you never lose your compass because jobs and titles come and go, but what matters most is emerging through life’s changes having been true to yourself.
  10. Find Balance
    This is the central issue we all face as professionals, “How do we balance work and family?”  We only have one life so it’s crucial to find a way to honor all your roles on a continual basis.  Everyone has a different formula. The right formula is a blend of saying “yes” and “no” to professional events, projects, travel and other opportunities at the same time you are fulfilling personal obligations and passions.  Find your own unique formula.

As 2019 comes to a close and we reflect on the past year and what is to come in 2020, we will keep Martha’s “pearls” top of mind to inspire and guide all we do at WWPR and beyond.