By Melissa Seitz Medford, Consulting Service Manager, TRC Global Mobility
Recently I had the privilege to attend the 14th annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Philadelphia. The Conference is self-defined as, “A non-profit, non-partisan, one-day professional and personal development event for women that features dozens of renowned speakers sharing inspirational stories and leading seminars on the issues that matter most to women.” The approximately 12,000 attendees were mostly women, but I was encouraged to see quite a few men as well. As it turned out, the messages at the conference resonated with everyone, regardless of gender. I think they are particularly germane for our employee mobility industry and its female majority.
Below are some quotes that I thought were particularly memorable and applicable:
Sandra Leung—Bristol-Myers Squibb
“None of us can afford to be invisible in the workplace.”
Carla Harris—Morgan Stanley
“If you were invited into the room, you belong at the table. Do not sit at the table and keep your mouth closed.”
“Fear has no place in your success equation. If you approach things form a place of fear, you will under-penetrate every opportunity. Fear is false evidence of things appearing real.”
“If you meet someone and they tell you that you are too much for them, they are right. Do not dim your light for someone else’s convenience.”
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get. You are responsible for your career.”
“When life comes to teach you a lesson, if you don’t pass the test you will repeat the class.”
“Always default to TRY. Always play for YES.”
Shonda Rimes—writer, executive producer and creator for network television
“Names you give ideas matter. Don’t say obstacle because then there are obstacles.”
“We belong in any room we are in.”
Shawn Achor—best-selling author and speaker of the most popular TED talk of all time
“Re-train your brain to look for success and connection, not mistakes and errors. Many jobs train us to look for mistakes and errors. We have to find a way around that.”
“Happiness does not exist on the other side of success. As soon as I get <<blank>> I’ll be happy. But we keep moving the goal post. If you raise your levels of happiness you will raise your levels of success, not the other way around.”
Dr. Brené Brown—best-selling author and research professor at the University of Houston
“People are hard to hate close up. Move in. We are in a time of rampant de-humanization of people. The line is not left or right. The line is what is human or not.”
“Walk through the world with a strong back, a soft front, and a wild heart.”
“You do not negotiate your worth or belong with other people. That is yours. That is what you carry in your heart and how you show up.”
Michelle Obama—former First Lady
Mrs. Obama shared that the transition from First Lady to private citizen has not been as easy as she thought it would be, and that she feels that her work for this country is not yet finished. A couple of key quotes that I took away from this discussion are:
“Put yourself on the calendar first. Don’t give your time away indiscriminately.”
“Ask questions. Don’t make judgments.”
Messages Relate to Employee Mobility Industry
Listening to these speakers, I realized that their message of empowerment applies not only to life in general but to employee mobility and TRC Global Mobility in particular.
Let me explain. The man who founded TRC in 1987, Paul Haislmaier, is still the CEO of the company today. Paul understands that you actually enhance your own power by giving power away. Empowering others and encouraging entrepreneurial thinking fosters creativity and pride in one’s work as well as a sense of inclusion.
In fact, in the ultimate act of employee empowerment, Paul sold TRC to its employees last year. Studies have shown that ESOP ownership increases employee dedication as well as productivity and profitability. Today, when innovation in global mobility is imperative, TRC employees all have a voice in suggesting process improvements or new ways to grow the company. By empowering our employees, we are able to give more to our clients and transferees, creating greater value and satisfaction all around.