This week Amanda LeBlanc, Vice President of Marketing, explains the ultimate lesson she has learned over the course of her career.
I’ve been working for almost 30 years now. I started my first real job in high school as a lifeguard in the summertime, and have worked in some capacity ever since. My work journey has been filled with a multitude of jobs, in an array of environments, and filled with many memorable friends and colleagues. Thanks to Facebook and LinkedIn, I’m still in contact with many of them today.
I’ve been a babysitter, lifeguard, swim instructor, tutor, office administrator, executive assistant, demographic analyst, contractor, volunteer, and grant writer, and I’ve worn just about every hat there is to wear in marketing, in some capacity (except graphic artist). I know some amazing artists, and I’d never, ever call myself a graphic artist.
I’ve worked in public and private companies, country clubs, public pools, private homes, startups, and multi-million dollar companies. Most all of my professional career has been in the healthcare IT space and it is in this space that I’ve learned the most – including my ultimate lesson.
When I sat down to write a response to the question, “What is your ultimate career lesson?” I knew the answer already. It has not always been clear to me, but it became so about five years ago when a colleague asked if I would be willing to speak to his son who was graduating college with a degree in marketing. It was this young man who asked me a question that brought me to my answer, “How did you get to where you are today?” I could have offered a throw-by-throw account of companies, roles, projects, accomplishments, failures, and bosses, but I knew that would be of no benefit to this young man. My answer was simple, and somewhat surprising when I said it out loud the first time. My answer was, and remains, my greatest career lesson – I never said no.
It’s as simple as that: I always said yes. Now, sometimes it was, “I’ve never done that before, but I’m willing to give it a try.” Or, “Wow. That’s a stretch, but why not?” But it was always yes, never no. Sometimes I fell down, but I’ve learned, even in falling. More often than not, I figured it out. I asked a lot of questions, shared a lot of rough ideas, and worked really hard.
The result? I was recognized and given new opportunities to grow. I was not recognized because I looked for praise and recognition, quite the contrary. I like to believe I have been rather humble about my own accomplishments. I will sing from the rooftops about the accomplishments of my team, but prefer to let my own accomplishments speak for themselves. And, I think they have and are evidenced in the opportunities I’ve been given by some really great bosses, mentors, and sometimes just a personal champion, along the way.
I recently was in the stands at one of my son’s sporting events and overheard a father and son’s conversation. The young boy really did not want to participate in an event he was signed up to compete in. After listening patiently to his son’s many excuses, the father firmly told his son that he was going to participate. The young boy responded, “Fine. When I fail, it’s your fault.” The father’s response was perfect, and one that I’ve added to my repertoire, “You only fail when you refuse to try.”
I like to think that this lesson is not only my ultimate career lesson but probably one of my top three life lessons.
No matter where you are in your career – just say yes. Never no. If you are given an opportunity, give it a go. You only fail when you refuse to try.
CMO, VP Marketing
Amanda LeBlanc was appointed Vice President and CMO in March 2015 and has responsibility for CTG's global Marketing, Communications, Sales Support, and Inside Sales programs. She brings over 25 years of marketing, communications, and sales-enablement experience in developing, implementing, and growing successful, technology-enabled marketing programs and a proven track record of refining and creating brands that resonate in the market place. Amanda joined CTG in 2012.