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Women in Leadership: Standing in Your Own Success

Ashley Marinella is the senior director of product finance for One Call. During her eight-year tenure with the company, she has been instrumental in driving financial planning and strategic analysis initiatives. Ashley and her team’s crucial work translates into financial results and market-leading products for One Call. Read on for her advice on defining, celebrating and owning your success.
 

 

What does standing in your own success mean to you?

To me, standing in your own success means you’re making significant contributions and are proud of those accomplishments.

How do you define success?

I personally define success as self-satisfaction and happiness. I am successful when I’m doing the best I’m capable of; however, success is truly dependent on how you define it for yourself.

Why do you think it’s important to celebrate your successes?

It’s important to celebrate your successes because it leads to motivation and inspiration to do more. I also take time to self-reflect and evaluate to understand what’s working and why.

There can be a fine line between celebrating your success and being boastful. What do you think differentiates the two?

What really differentiates the two is authenticity. Sometimes, to avoid sounding boastful, you might become overly modest. However, minimizing your achievements and keeping your success to yourself can be a problem too. It can result in others not being aware of what you bring to the table, and you could be overlooked for a promotion. It’s important to share your success as long it’s done in an authentic way.

Do you think women find it more difficult to own their success?

I do believe women struggle to own their success because, unfortunately, it’s a different playing field for women than men. Studies show there’s a positive correlation between success and likeability for men, yet a negative correlation for women. Women don’t want to have to choose between succeeding and being liked.

Have you ever been in a position where you felt you couldn’t celebrate your successes?

Celebrating my successes was challenging earlier on in my career. Over time, I’ve overcome the feeling of guilt and built strong relationships with other leaders. Now, I have a great support system.

How do you celebrate your team’s successes, as well as the successes of individual employees?

It’s important to show respect for another’s achievement. By doing so, you build strong relationships and encourage employee engagement.

I make it a priority to invest in my team and show gratitude for their contributions – I take pride in my team’s successes.  Every time someone on my team achieves a goal, I show my appreciation quickly and publicly. I work to provide my team with good direction and a clear career path. If my team is successful, I am successful.

Accepting praise from others can feel awkward. Any advice on how to handle it?  

It’s a great feeling when someone celebrates your success. When this happens, I focus on being humble and thank the person for acknowledging my accomplishments – don’t downplay your success.

Has there been an influential person in your life who has helped you with this topic?

I’ve built relationships with influencers within the company who support me as sponsors. They have encouraged me and provided growth opportunities within the company. One leader, in particular, gave me great advice on how to advance your career: build relationships and share your contributions with others. If company leaders don't know your track record or what you're capable of they can't support you.

Is there a resource that has helped you to stand in your own success?

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has a powerful Ted Talk entitled, “Why we have too few women leaders.” One of the messages I took away from her talk is to “sit at the table.” She goes on to say, “No one gets to the corner office by sitting off to the side vs. at the table, and no one gets the promotion if they don’t think they deserve their success. Believe in yourself and negotiate for yourself.” This is a powerful message that has stuck with me through the years.

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