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Q: When you speak to a group this big and this diverse — there are CEOs here, clinicians, business owners, people involved in health care policy — what do you hope people take away?
A: I hope that people walk away with concrete ideas as individuals or ideas as leaders. One of the things most important for me personally is that you can’t be effective as a leader if you don’t have a sound mind or healthy spirit. That’s personal for me. As leaders, we can set the agenda within our own organizations, create formal processes and programs to help women advance, to climb the ranks, to develop. We can create policies that can be helpful to women at all levels. It can’t be a one-size-fits-all. Women at the middle-income level or lower level, their agenda is different from those at the top.
Q: You came to America as a frightened teenage girl, as you described it, with a family that arrived “with little but ourselves, our gratitude and our memories.” How has that experience helped you be more resilient to inevitable rejections in your career?
A: I tell my story because it represents hope. The opportunities are enormous here. But nothing comes easy. You have to work at it. In my first job in advertising sales, I told a top publishing executive, “With all that I have been through, hearing ‘No’ from a potential customer would hardly break me.”
Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335